Deliver the gift of  self esteem to a teen foster girl this holiday season.


Help ensure stockings have all the basics by donating stuffers such as nail files, deodorant, lip balm, tooth brushes, school supplies, etc.

Click below to donate via PayPal. You do not need an account. Simply select the pay by credit card option. You may also send a check to Stockings from Karen, 9919 Meriden Road, Potomac, MD 20854. We are a registered 501 c 3 non profit. Our tax ID is 47-2752887.

Stockings from Karen

The Story of Stockings from Karen

Stockings from Karen is a non-profit organization whose mission is to give the gift of self-esteem to teen foster girls through annual delivery of special Christmas stockings. Often when kids arrive in foster care all they have is the clothes on their back. Our stockings are stuffed with staple toiletries teen girls need like deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, lotion and self esteem boosters like makeup and hair accessories.  To customize the stockings for the girls, we include a couple of items from one of our four themes: academics, sports, fashion and music. Volunteers from our beneficiary organization Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) can then choose the theme that best fits their client. Each stocking is personally purchased, assembled and donated by our donors and delivered by volunteers to the CASA office.

Stockings from Karen was founded in 2014 in Washington, DC by former foster child LeeAnn Petersen and is a tribute to her foster parents Karen and Dave Schwartzkopf.  The Schwartzkopf’s opened their home and hearts to foster kids in San Bernardino County, California in the early 1980s and served over 100 foster children through the years.  The sudden loss of their own 12 year old daughter to a brain aneurysm is what prompted the Schwartzkopf’s to get their foster license.  While they took boys and girls of all ages in need, the Schwartzkopf home became known as being particularly successful with raising teenage girls. LeeAnn arrived at the Schwartzkopf home in November 1984, the day after her 15th birthday. That Christmas, her first in foster care, LeeAnn received her first ever Christmas stocking.  LeeAnn fondly remembers the care and love that Karen put in to her and her foster siblings’ Christmas stockings – each one tailored to its prospective owner.  All stockings had the usual staples of teen hygiene care and maintenance: deodorant, shaving razors, mouthwash, tooth brush, lip balm, hair bands, barrettes, lotion. Then there were the items that made you feel beautiful: makeup, nail polish, hosiery, earrings.  Karen would always throw in a few things to customize the stocking for each child. For LeeAnn it meant something with her topaz birthstone and something related to sports, music or fashion. Whether Karen knew it or not, these stockings built confidence and gave the girls a sense of self-esteem and pride.  To LeeAnn the stocking represented stability in a time of emotional upheaval and confidence for an ugly duckling looking to become a beautiful swan.  Most of all,the stockings let the girls know someone cared about them enough to make them feel special.

In an effort to pay it forward and provide this same boost for today’s young women in foster care, in December 2014 Stockings from Karen donated 40 Christmas stockings to the Court Appointed Special Advocates(CASA) program of Washington, DC for the teen girls on their case load.  These stockings were paid for and assembled by friends of LeeAnn’s according to four themes: sports, academics, music, and fashion. All stockings contain staple toiletries along with a few thematic items.  Stockings from Karen's future plans for expansion include delivering stockings in Montgomery County, MD where LeeAnn lives, and in locations across the U.S. where her foster siblings live including Montana, Washington, Texas and Arizona.

Donations so far:  $300


Volunteers can help shop for supplies, assemble and deliver stockings. Do you want to be one of Karen's elves?


We prefer for each foster girl to receive a stocking from a donor but if you are strapped for time we will do the shopping for you.


Donate a stocking fully loaded with esteem building tools to give a much needed holiday boost for a teen foster girl.