Recently, we sat down with Lily Lee of Give with Lily to chat about the amazing work they are doing to support foster kids and the hungry. They collect gifts and raise money to buy gifts for foster children, homeless youth, and help people who need food. Foster kids have a life with no parents to help care for them. They are more likely to grow up to be homeless, poor, and less educated. They donate to Mattress Firm Foster Kids, Larkin Street Youth Services, and the San Francisco Marin Food Bank.
Hello, my name is Lily Lee. I am the senior fundraiser at, and this is my eighth year raising donations to help foster kids, homeless youth, and the hungry.
I am 14 years old and in ninth grade.
In the last year,delivered 4,400 gifts to foster kids and homeless youth in need. From books, games, and science projects to the only good shoes some kids have and even interview clothing. We donated them all through many local foster agencies, as well as the Larkin Street Youth Shelter.
We also donated 52,000 pounds of rice. That is 26 tons for a price below what the food banks could get, and we delivered them to four bay area food banks. This fed more than half a million people. We did this with only $26,000 of donations from people like you.
Making so little go so far is only possible by negotiating deep discounts with vendors who believe in the idea of healing the world and, of course, coupons lots of coupons.
The focus ofis on supporting foster kids, homeless youth, and the hungry.
There are 670,000 foster children in the United States today. On average, they entered foster care just after entering second grade; over 80 percent are placed because they were abused or neglected, and 42 percent will never be reunited with a parent or even a family member.
When they leave foster care, over half of them end up homeless for at least two years, so many foster kids grow up to be homeless youth, and this is why I try to help them as well.
Finally, I also focus on feeding the hungry. Those families who live with food insecurity. Since COVID had put 40 million Americans out of work, the food banks I support have seen demand from double to 40 times what it was pre-COVID for some senior and disabled populations.
This year, my goal is to create 5,000 smiles and warm bodies with 5,000-holiday gifts of toys and clothes to foster kids and homeless youth. For the hungry, I want to donate 50 tons of rice to the food bank; this would be 1.1 million servings of rice.
I have negotiated a deal with a wholesale rice cellar that lets me source rice for less than the food banks can get it. Due to COVID, food banks cannot use volunteers to break up bulk rice into one-pound bags. So, we must purchase rice pre-bagged.
I got them a deal, but it still is double last year’s price but still less than what the food banks pay. Record demand with double the costs, it’s a crisis. One we can work on together today.
I am asking you to please donate to help the kids and the hungry. To give, you can go to my website –– and follow the donate link.
Last year, I got my 51c3 status by becoming a social good fund program, which is acting as my fiscal sponsor, so donations are tax-deductible.
Please keep in mind that this is more than just some kid’s pet charity. The food banks tell me to buy rice because I can get it cheaper than their annual negotiated contract with other bay area food banks.
The gifts of toys and clothing are usually sourced with 80 to 90% discount donations.is one of the most efficient ways to get rice to the hungry and support for foster kids past and present.
I am very grateful to you for taking the time to listen to my request. Please donate and please share this request. Together, we can heal the world.