Junior’s charity earns $10,000 grant

Junior Aaliyah Tournier received a $10,000 check for her charity Furries 4 Fosters.

Bundling up and embracing the comfort of a blanket and stuffed animal is a feeling that most can relate to and most can reflect on if from their childhoods. 

Junior Aaliyah Tournier recognized that unforgettable feeling brought to children when her foster siblings found that same joy and comfort in her belongings. “I used to share my stuffed animals and blankets with foster kids in our home, and I just saw how much safer it made them feel. It’s important to me to make sure that foster kids feel safe in the situations that they are in,” Tournier said. “It is also important to me because I want these kids to know that no matter how much they’re going through that they know that someone cares.”

Tournier has been running Furries 4 Fosters since she was in the sixth grade, and the organization has been growing over the course of the last five years. Tournier said she’s seeing the impact Furries 4 Fosters makes each day “just seeing it grow and me starting to partner with more organizations like Kaden’s Kloset, Cedar Valley Angels, Allen Child Protection Center and AMP (Achieving Maximum Potential) and the DHS office.”

Tournier said the process to even being considered for the award was a bit time consuming. After one of her mom’s friends from work nominated her, her parents had to fill out a lot of paperwork regarding all the work she had done for Furries 4 Fosters. “Then, I had a phone interview with them telling them how my organization got started, why I do it, how I would use the money and I had told them a few memories that I had from the events I had worked at,” Tournier said.

Of course, the last step of the process was the big surprise for the junior. “I had waited about two weeks till that game night where I had received the check, but my mom had known a week before and she had contacted the school and the basketball team to make sure it was OK to give me the check at halftime of our senior night game,” Tournier said.

When the surprise was finally revealed, Tournier said it was all a whirlwind of emotions. “I was definitely blown away because I had no idea it was happening. I cried a bit too, and I really felt like I was on cloud nine because I never thought that five years ago, as a sixth grader, me getting $10,000 for my organization would be possible,” Tournier said.

Receiving not only the money for her organization, Tournier was the recipient of a few gifts herself too. She was given a Samsung Galaxy tablet, a JBL speaker, a blue backpack and water bottle that both say “future for good” on them, and a card congratulating her on the work she’s done.

Tournier said the money will be used for continuing her mission and purchasing blankets and stuffed animals. She also plans to use the money to help her build a website for her organization. 

To continue her mission in comforting foster kids, donate to Furries 4 Fosters by visiting the Facebook page or talking to Aaliyah Tournier.

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