I created this list a while back for www.soulofadoption/forums where I spend a great deal of my time daily. I thought I would repost it here to keep a copy for myself.
1. Help a foster care program in your state. Your contribution to these agencies will mean brighter and safer tomorrows for children and youth in your state and across America.
Check with the Child Welfare League of America to find out how to help your state program. http://www.cwla.org/
2. Mentor a young person. Research shows that children and youth with mentors earn higher grades and improve their relationships with friends and families.
The National Mentoring Partnership http://www.mentoring.org/index.php and In My Shoes http://www.inmyshoesinc.org/ are two places that will help you get started
3. Learn more about how policy, legislative and budget priorities affect children and youth in foster care. check with the Children's Defense Fund http://www.childrensdefense.org/join/default.aspx to see how you can help now.
4. Donate goods such as suitcases, books, games, computers, sports equipment, musical instruments, clothing, and school supplies to young people in foster care. Check with the National Foster Parent Association http://www.nfpainc.org/index.cfm to see what the local chapter in your area is in need of.
5. Send care packages to foster care alumni attending college. Many youth who have aged out of the system still need some support when trying to further their education. The Orphan Foundation of America has a way to send packages right now! http://www.orphan.org/
6. Help young people in foster care organize a youth leadership or support group. The Foster club is a national nextwork for kids in foster care to connect with others going through the same experience. https://www.fosterclub.org/grownups/index.cfm
7. Become a virtual mentor for a young person in college. Expand the circle of support for a youth in foster care as an email/online pen pal. The OFA will connect you with someone who needs someone to talk to online! http://www.orphan.org/
8. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer. In an overburdened system, abused and neglected kids often slip through the cracks among hundreds of cases. CASA volunteers can change that. CASA volunteers typically handle just one case at a time—and commit to staying on that case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. While others may come and go, CASA volunteers provide that one constant that children need in order to thrive. http://www.nationalcasa.org/volunteer/index.html
9. Shop online and grant a wish for a child in foster care right now. Little Wishes is a program in my area, St. Louis MO, that grants wishes for kids during the holidays. The wishes vary from action figures, art supplies, popcorn parties, sweaters, a class ring, and art lessons. http://www.foster-adopt.org/default2.asp?action=article&ID=3
10. View the Heart Galleries and put a face to the nameless kids in the system. The Heart Gallery™ was founded by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) in 2001 as an innovative way to help waiting children connect with adoptive families. Photographers volunteer their time to capture the personalities of kids in the foster care system. If you're not able to help in any other way please take a few moments just take a look at these beautiful photographs and look into the eyes of some wonderful kids!