Now in its 16th year, Books for Youth is a statewide program that gives 25 age-appropriate books to Indiana foster youth. In 2009, Cargo Services was asked to join the program and has proudly partnered alongside the NFL Indianapolis Colts since.
“Foster children often have little to call their own. And study after study proves reading is a key to lifelong success. If we can give these kids something of their own that also provides an educational opportunity, we’re providing an experience to help move foster children toward a successful adulthood,” says Cargo Services co-owner and CFO Steve Fugate.
The program was inspired by a former foster youth back in 1998. Steve Pemberton says, “Reading gave me self-esteem, confidence and let me know, that despite the instability and uncertainty that was happening all around me, I did have a purpose and a place in this world, after all. That small act of kindness … of giving this little boy a book… provided what I needed most: hope and the belief that there was goodness in others. Years later, that disconnected boy has now yielded to the man, who has established his own roots…but I can still smell the pages of my books and remember, with glistening eyes and fond memories, the hope that I found there.”
Indianapolis Colts General Manager Chris Ballard and his entire family joined the Books for Youth team when he joined the organization in 2017. An adoptive family, the Ballards are passionate about their support for foster youth. To date, Books for Youth has collected close to 900,000 books and distributed just over 9,000 backpacks to foster children throughout the State of Indiana.
Sunday, Oct. 30, is Books for Youth game day at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts fans attending are encouraged to bring books to donate at gate entries. All books will be placed into backpacks and given to Indiana foster youth.
Here’s a video from last year’s campaign. Please join us and support Indiana foster youth. click here