Four Oaks, Lavender Life Project Impacting Foster Children Across Iowa


May is National Foster Care Month; a time to recognize all of those who play an integral role in helping children and youth in foster care find stable, temporary, and nurturing homes. It is also a time to renew our commitment to ensuring the success of the children and youth in foster care in Iowa.

As part of this effort to ensure the well-being and success of children and youth in foster care, Four Oaks is partnering with Lavender Life Company to offer some comfort to family foster kids undergoing the difficult transition into foster care.

Together, Four Oaks and Lavender Life Company are working to distribute over 3,500 Xander Bunnies and Xander Dogs to family foster kids across Iowa. These stuffed animals are uniquely designed with comfort in mind and are lavender scented. Lavender Life Company has donated over 33,000 stuffed animals to foster kids across 13 states. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Their goal is to give a warmable, lavender-filled stuffed animal to all 440,000+ children in foster care.

“Being placed into foster care can be a very emotional and confusing transition for children,” Kelli Malone, Four Oaks Chief Program Officer, said. “Being able to provide something of comfort to children while they undergo this difficult transition is incredible. This project will go a long way in supporting foster kids across the state.”

The Xander Bunnies and Dogs have already begun making their way across the state and into the arms of family foster kids. The goal is to provide current children in family foster care and those entering family foster care with a stuffed animal when they are placed in a family foster home as part of a care package.

“The Department of Human Services is excited to partner with Four Oaks to distribute the Xander Bunnies and Xander Dogs to foster kids across Iowa, reminding them that no matter what they may be going through, they are loved and they are not alone,” Janee Harvey, Division Administrator for the Iowa Department of Human Services said.

To learn more about this project and the impact it is having across the state, check out these recent news stories done on the project: