Being a foster kid himself, Rob Scheer knows what it is like to carry around his belongings in a garbage bag. Rob began a life in foster care at the age of 10. By the age of 17 he had no place to live and was either staying with friends or sleeping in public restrooms. Rob finished high school, and once he turned 18, he joined the Navy. After all those years in foster care, Rob and his partner wanted to help other children who are growing up like Rob did. After meeting his first foster children and seeing they were carrying all their belongings in trash bags, Rob knew something had to be done.
Buzz: After the military, how did you get into the appraisal industry?
Scheer: I did not get into the appraisal industry until 5 years ago. Before that I was involved on the lending side. I started as a LO in 1987 and worked my way up the ladder.
Buzz: Growing up in the foster care system, did you always know you eventually wanted to become a foster parent?
Scheer: No, I had no desire to ever talk about Foster Care, but I knew I wanted to be a parent and that having a family was very important to me.
Buzz: Tell us a little bit about Comfort Cases?
Scheer: Comfort Cases is the charity that my family founded in October 2013. Our mission at Comfort Cases is to provide comfort and dignity to children entering the foster care system and to other at risk youth. We accomplish this goal by packing and distributing overnight bags filled with essential and comfort items to meet the basic needs of these children and to bring some happiness into their lives. Every child deserves the dignity of having something of their very own and knowing that their community cares about them. Our charity provides a way for communities to come together and support the most vulnerable among them.
Buzz: Currently, Comfort Cases serve communities in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Do you have a plan to reach kids across the country one day?
Scheer: We are currently working towards a national expansion. Our goal is to have chapters across our country. We are determined to create a national infrastructure that supports all children in the foster care system.
Buzz: How can others help with your organization?
Scheer: One of the best things about our charity is that everyone can be involved in helping children in need. From the littlest hands to the esteemed seniors in our communities, there is a role and place for everyone. Some ways that volunteers can help support Comfort Cases include: holding donation drives to collect the items we put in our cases, hosting a packing party where groups come together to prepare bags for delivery to at risk children, volunteer locally at our Center in Rockville to help process donations and pack bags, and deliver Comfort Cases to social services agencies, and solicit donations for our Annual Gala fundraiser which is held in April each year.
Buzz: Anything to add?
Scheer: Community was built for one reason and one reason only, and that is for all of us to take care of each other. Taking care of the most vulnerable in our community is not only our responsibility but truly a privilege. One of the best things we can do for children in need, is to talk about the struggles they are facing and how we can help alleviate their burdens. Spread the word and help raise awareness of the changes we need to make to the foster care system to truly help these children succeed in life. Together we can make a difference!
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