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December 7, 2023
Rob Scheer
Comfort Cases: Transforming the Foster Care System with Rob Scheer

Comfort Cases: Transforming the Foster Care System with Rob Scheer

Show Notes:

In this episode, we are joined by Rob Scheer, founder and CEO of Comfort Cases, an organization that supports kids in the foster care system. Rob, who grew up in foster care himself, shares his personal story and sheds light on how the foster care system functions. He emphasizes that empathy is not innate but taught, and discusses the need for dignity and basic necessities for kids in the system. Rob challenges the notion that the system is broken and instead highlights the importance of understanding and supporting children in foster care. Tune in to hear more about Rob's inspiring journey and the work of Comfort Cases.

"If we're going to pay for these children's tuition, we need to pay for all the wraparound services to make them healthy humans of our society, because that's what we want."

Topics covered:

[00:01:36] The shattered foster care system.

[00:04:30] Homelessness and resilience.

[00:07:44] Creating a supportive foster system.

[00:12:11] Rebuilding the foster care system.

[00:15:28] Investing in our future.

[00:19:47] Foster care and dental hygiene.

[00:22:39] Dignity for children in transition.

[00:28:20] People experiencing homelessness.

[00:32:19] Foster systems around the world.

[00:33:37] Obscure but badly needed niche.

Links mentioned:

Guest links:

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(00:03 - 00:10) Rob Scheer: We must all realize that empathy is not in our DNA. It's not. Empathy is taught. It is taught.
(00:13 - 01:08) Mike Spear: Welcome to Cause and Purpose, the show about the leaders, innovators, and change agents working on the front lines to solve some of the world's greatest social challenges. Our guest today is the founder and CEO of Comfort Cases, Rob Scheer. Comfort Cases is one of the many organizations that grew out of personal experience and a very personal mission. As somebody who grew up in the foster care system himself, Rob understands firsthand the needs, pains, and opportunities to support kids going through the system today. The idea for Comfort Cases came out of the need for a little bit of dignity, for the desire for the kids in the foster care system to have something of their own they can be proud of, and empower them to enter uncertain living conditions with a few of the basics they need to survive. Comfort Cases is doing some fantastic work in a cause area that most of us honestly don't know that much about. And Rob has a fascinating personal backstory to boot. Hope you enjoy. Thanks so much for joining us, man. It's great to have you on the podcast.

(01:08 - 01:12) Rob Scheer: You know, thank you so much. I'm really excited to have this conversation with you.

(01:12 - 01:31) Mike Spear: I know you have a very compelling personal story with the foster care system. I think it's a system that most people don't frankly understand very well. I think there's a lot of misconceptions. So I would love to just start with with your story about how you grew up in the system, but also how does the system function? Like what is it that people don't understand about the system in general that they should?

(01:32 - 07:25) Rob Scheer: I really think that the system is not broken. See, broken things, actually, you can take super glue and put them back together. But when things are shattered, they have to be rebuilt. And our foster care system is completely shattered. It is an industry that makes money on the backs of children. And just like what happened to me in 1979, I had been living with my mother and my father. I was the youngest of 10 children. My mother had been married six times. We lived in and out of every shelter in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. That's the way I grew up. I mean, I'm 56 years old, and every day when I get in the shower, I am reminded about the torture that I went to as a little boy because of the cigarettes that my father would put out on us kids. But to me, that was life. That was my family. That was everything that I knew. And then in 79, I went into foster care. For me, I thought going into foster care meant I was going to go into a family that wanted me compared to a family that abused me. And I remember going to the very first home. And I remember when I walked into the front door with my trash bag with nothing but torn and tattered clothes in it. I just really wanted them to look at me and be excited that I was there. But I didn't get that. I didn't get that feeling. Instead, they were more concerned about the fact that I didn't have any decent church clothes to wear the next day. me that I needed to get c 12 years old and coming i home and being put in a b to use a bar of soap that and these were strangers. And we see that every single day. You know, we are averaging roughly one child every two minutes that come in foster care. That's 700 kids a day. And they're walking into a house of strangers. Mike, for me at that moment in my life, I remember even at 12 standing there saying I was going to be different. I was this family was going to fall in love with me. And so I would wake up in the morning and, you know, I would clean the kitchen before, you know, my foster parents asked me to. And, you know, they had three biological children. And, you know, they reminded me that all the time, as they would say, these are my biological kids and this is our foster kid. But you know what, I had a roof over my head. I didn't, someone wasn't beating me and putting cigarettes out on me. So I just continued to ride the wave. And you know, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 years old, I'm still living in the same house. I'm lucky, not like so many kids. I have a son who came to live with me. He'd been living in 11 homes. So I felt lucky. And then It all changed, and it was the fall of 1984. I walked into the front door of my home, and there it was. It was something that I had not seen in years, which was my trash bag. And it was full. And I remember looking at my foster father, and by the way, I called him Dad because I truly thought he loved me. And I asked him, Mike, I said, why is this here? And he said, you have to go. And I said, I have to go? He said, What do you mean? And I looked at my mom and she says, you're 18 years old now. And you know what? We're not getting a check any longer. And you can't live in this house, this house. I thought this was my home. And I literally picked up my trash bag in Northern Virginia and I walked out the front door and I became homeless. And so for the first couple of nights, it was probably the scariest time of my life. I remember, you know, don't even think I really slept, finding, you know, under the bridge or, you know, an abandoned building. And finally I decided that I was gonna walk, I was gonna go to school and I did. I hid my trash bag and I walked into school. No one acknowledged me. No matter how long my hair had gotten now and how dirty and skinny and my rotten teeth and the fact that I had holes in my shoes, nobody ever just acknowledged me besides the kids who pushed me in the lockers. And then June of 1985, it happened. I made it. I made it to graduation day. I remember I had to borrow a cap and gown because I didn't have money to, you know, rent one like everybody else. It was this big, over, didn't fit me right. I remember the kid in front of me didn't want to be close to me because I smelled, and the kid behind me kept kicking me and laughing. That trash bag that my community had handed me in 1979, did its job, did its job. It made me feel disposable, it made me feel invisible, and it made me feel that it did not matter. At that moment in my life, at 18, I realized that kids who are in foster care, we only have three choices, and that is it. Three choices. Choice number one, we give up. We literally give up. Suicide rate in foster care is so high, and don't think that there were not nights that I did not think about taking my life. Number two, we give in. We give in. We do exactly what the community expects of us. Petty crimes, incarceration, drug addiction. As you and I have this conversation today, 80% of our death row inmates were either in foster care or touched by foster care. Or number three, give it all I got. It's exactly what I decided to do. I decided to join the United States Navy and make something of myself. And I truly did. I became a very, very successful businessman.

(07:25 - 07:55) Mike Spear: It's also crazy to somebody like me. who's never experienced this personally, that a family or some parents would take on a foster kid as like a moneymaker, as like a financial transactional thing. I just think it's hard to comprehend for somebody who hasn't experienced it. So let's talk about that a little bit. And let's talk about the things that would need to happen to really create a system where kids that come from traumatized homes would be able to enter a loving environment and be supported through their developmental years.

(07:55 - 15:28) Rob Scheer: Not all foster parents are bad. Let's get that out there. I get enough hate mail as it is about my vocalness that I am. Not all of them are bad. The problem is, is enough of them are bad that it has completely tainted our system. And the fact that when you look at states where you are given $1,000 check every single month per child that lives in your house with no accountability whatsoever, You are given daycare. You are given before and after care. You're given health insurance. If you make a certain income, you could even qualify for Section 8 housing if you're a foster parent. You're given WIC if you have children under the age of five. I mean, there is so much, but then at the end of the day, nothing has to be spent on that child. No one comes to you and says, by the way, can I see the receipt that you took him over there to Target to buy him some new shorts. Instead, what you do is you take them to the local, what they call the Rainbow Room, and they get to shop for free of someone's used clothes. And so it is truly something that you can make money off of, and people are making money off of it. There was just a case recently in the state of Florida where a woman had eight children in foster care. living with her and come to find out she had them living in a trailer and not in her house. And, you know, they had been there for several years. And it was finally when one of the children said something to a teacher that the case opened up and found out that for years this woman had been milking the system, kids after kids after kids. And by the way, when social workers come and visit, which they do, we're not going to say anything. We're not going to say anything and let me explain to you why we don't say anything. because we truly know that the next place that we go could be worse. And I think that that's something that nobody really understands. Again, there's no accountability whatsoever. This is something that I've always said. Number one, foster care is not the answer. When you have 64% of kids who enter the foster care system because of one word, and that word is neglect, okay? Neglect is defined differently in every single state, but I will tell you what neglect is. It is poverty. Poverty is neglect. So what we should be doing is trying to figure out how do we go in and help fix that family before that child even comes into the system. If you can take a child out of their home, and put them with strangers? Why can't we bring a stranger into the home and stabilize the house? Why can't we take the perpetrator out of the home instead of having to remove the child every time? Why can't we, you know, really be the support system for the mothers that, you know, because we know we have there's so many single mothers. Why can't we be that support system? You know, there are cases all over our country where children are taken away from their birth mother because she wasn't able to get a babysitter and she left the child because she had to go to work. You know, whose fault is that? That's our fault as a community. You know, there wasn't enough food in the pantry. Whose fault is that? That is our fault as a community. See, the thing that we have forgotten as humans is why did our forefathers build communities? And they built communities to take care of each other, to take care of each other. And if you need a piece of bread and I have it, I should share that bread with you. And I think that we have forgotten that. And I think that that is something we have to listen. We're always going to have to have foster care, Mike. I mean, the fact is, is that I have five children. All five of my babies were adopted out of the system. All five of my kids carried a trash bag when they walked into the front door. And two of my children came from severe, and I am talking severe abuse. There was no way these kids should ever, ever, ever be reunified with their birth parents because the abuse was so bad. Um, so the system is always going to be needed. But what the problem is, is that the system needs to be rebuilt. See, I always say, if you pick that low hanging fruit off a tree, a tree will grow taller. And there's so many low hanging fruits in foster care that we could be doing immediately. Number one, we could set these children up for financial success, financial success. And this is exactly my husband and I, we adopted our fifth child at the age when he was 18 years old. That's even unheard of. You know, he was getting ready to age out of the system and it wasn't going to happen on my watch. I met him as I was giving a speech. Little would I know that three months later I would be petitioning in the courts for him to be our son. But here is this kid who If he had not found his forever family, you know, he would have been given $500 when he aged out and say so long. But what we should be doing is when a child arrives in the system, first thing we need to do is immediately start mental health. you know, evaluations, giving these kids therapy immediately, and then also talking immediately, and I don't care if they are four, five, seven, nine, 12, 13, whatever, the moment they walk in this system, we need to be thinking about tomorrow. We need to be thinking about tomorrow for them. So what do we do? We take a little bit of that stipend that we give these foster parents and we put it in an interest bearing savings account. So when they do turn 18 or 21, whatever, any state, because every state has a different age of consent of aging out, that at least they have something. And I'm not saying write them a check. I'm saying give them an opportunity to have down payments for a car. Give them an opportunity to have a, you know, a security deposit for rent. We look at the reason that children are not going to college who are in foster care or secondary schools. It's because, you know, the states all of a sudden go in and pound their chest. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, California. I can go on and on. Look what we do. We pay tuition for all the children if you're in foster care. If you enter foster care and you age out of the system and you want to go to college, we will pay your tuition if you stay within the state. Okay, fine. That's fine. Thank you for that. But how do I pay for my food? How do I pay for my health insurance? What do you do with me in December when you close the campus and I have no family? I go to a shelter. See, the thing is, is that we don't think it through. We must say, listen, if we're going to pay for these children's tuition, we need to pay for all the wraparound services to make them healthy humans of our society, because that's what we want. Because as somebody, like I said, I'm 56 years old, I remember hearing this all the time. People would say, oh, invest in a child and you invest in their future. That is such a BS lie. That is not true. When you invest in a child, Mike, you actually invest in your future, in my future. And the reason for that is because they are our leaders of tomorrow.

(15:28 - 15:35) Mike Spear: Do they provide a coach of any kind to like help them say like, okay, here are the things that you need. Here's how you become a self-sufficient adult.

(15:35 - 16:59) Rob Scheer: This is the biggest problem again with the system is that they wait until these kids are 16 and 17. And by the way, by that time, they so pissed off. They don't want anything to do with you. You know, they don't want anything. They are tired of you knocking on their door, you know, twice a month. They're tired of you walking into their school, you know, other kids knowing that you're, you're the foster kid. First of all, how dare us, you know, how dare us be in 2023 and we have not changed our vocabulary. These are not foster kids. These are kids who are in foster care. These are kids who are experiencing foster care. These are kids, are kids. And the fact that we, you know, all of a sudden expected 16 and 17, they're going to say, okay, yeah, I'm going to stay in the system till I'm 21. Um, and I'm going to allow you to continue. No, at 18, they are giving us the middle finger and saying, I can do this on my own because you have failed me enough. The anger is so, and I see it all over the country. As a public speaker, I travel all over the country. I get to meet kids in foster care all over the country, including the UK, and I get the same from every single child. You failed me. You failed me. And when you fail someone, why would they stay around no matter what you have?

(17:00 - 17:07) Mike Spear: Tell us about comfort cases. Why is the dignity piece and setting kids up for that transition? Well, so important.

(17:07 - 20:58) Rob Scheer: When my children arrived 14 years ago, my first four children arrived, they were six months to two and four, two sets of siblings, all within three months, they arrived, all four of them carried a trash bag. And I just couldn't believe it. I remember saying to the social worker, are you're telling me after all of these years that I've been out of the system? that we still allow kids and her exact words to me in my memoir, she said, w some dignity, you know, an in my mind, but I was a I was all concerned about concerned about my husband was an interior designer. We only cared about the fact that our Children went to the best schools were designer clothes and that they traveled the world to give them all the opportunities that they didn't have as when they were little. And then 10 years ago, I was sitting in my office. My husband, Reese, walked into my office. At that point, he had given up his career to be a stay-at-home dad. And we would do these big toy drives at Christmastime. And we'd take our kids to Toys R Us and let them buy all these toys for those needy kids. And this one particular year, I said to Reese, I said, I don't want to do it. I don't want to do the toy drive. And he said, what do you mean? He was like, the kids love to, you know, everybody comes together. We have this big party. And I said, what are we teaching our kids? I said, we're teaching our kids that you give some needy kid a toy and, you know, it makes life all better. And he was like, well, what do you want to do? And I literally opened up my desk drawer and I pulled out a trash bag. See, the fact is I keep a trash bag with me always. And the reason for that, I don't want to forget where I came from. I don't want to forget. And I laid it on my desk and I said, I want to eliminate trash bags and foster care for DC. And he literally looked at me and said, you are batshit crazy. And I said, I said, I know that's exactly why you married me. And so we gathered members of my senior staff and we gathered some local politicians who were friends of ours and some members of our church. And I told my story, the story that I just shared with you and your listeners, and decided that we wanted to get a backpack, a brand new backpack. We decided we wanted to make sure that every child had a brand new pair of pajamas. I wanted every child to have their own lotion, their own shampoo, their own conditioner, and their own bar of soap. I wanted every child to have their own toothbrush and toothpaste. And by the way, Mike, my beautiful teeth and my teeth are beautiful. They cost me an arm and a leg. OK, they cost me an arm and a leg because nobody bothered to give me a toothbrush when I was a kid in the system. And then I wanted every kid to have an activity. I wanted kids under the age of 10 to get a coloring book and crayons and kids over the age of 10 to get a journal and a pen and pencil set. And then I wanted every kid to have a book. I wanted every kid to have a stuffed animal because I truly do believe whether you're a newborn or you're 21 or 56, we all love a good stuffy. And then finally a blanket. And with that, we packed our first case and another and another. And I thought after 200 cases that that would be it. I went back to my office. My kids went back to school. And little would I know that somebody heard about what we had done and they wanted to know if they could interview me. And I said, of course. And so I did the interview. And the next thing you know, Comfort Cases was born. And in the height of the pandemic, when most people didn't know what the hell to do, my team was building a center in the UK where we actually serve 84,000 children in the United Kingdom who also are in foster care and who also carry trash bags just like here in the US.

(20:59 - 21:21) Mike Spear: The toy drive stuff that you mentioned, in a way, obviously, it's like a positive thing overall, but in a way, it sort of reinforces the transactional nature of what's already going on in the foster care system, where you sort of throw some money at it, kind of go on your way, where this is like, in a way, it's treating the root cause because you're arming the kids with things that provide a sense of agency. It's a way they can take care of themselves, right?

(21:21 - 23:07) Rob Scheer: You know, five years ago, Reese and I had realized that, you know, our whole goal was to eliminate trash bags. And we realized that these backpacks really weren't doing it. So we got together with some amazing designers, Amy Katzenberg, who is a leading handbook designer, Briggs and Riley, who designed luggages. And we got together with them and we designed what we call a Comfort XL. And it is a 32 inch duffel bag. It retails for about $149. And these are actually given to children who are in our foster care. And we have delivered about 90,000 of them. We give them to frontline workers. So they get the comfort case and then they get the 32-inch duffel bag. So that way nobody ever can give me an excuse that somebody needs a trash bag. So you tell me the problem, I'm going to show you how to solve it. And this to me is truly th And we must understand th in because there's nothin The social worker knows the house. They tell the kids, you got two minutes to grab your stuff and we're out of here. And that's what's the first thing that they hand them. They have rolls of them in their trunks. So now what we do, we have designed this bag that it folds up like a book. So you can't give me any BS about storage and space, but they're able to give it to these kids, open it up, and these kids can put their belongings in there and they can walk out of their home. and go into their new place with some dignity and not carrying a damn trash bag, which by the way, trash bags were invented and made for one purpose, and that's to put trash in, not children's clothing.

(23:07 - 23:17) Mike Spear: these duffel bags that you have, the police and the social workers and whoever is that sort of point of intervention, they're actually the distribution mechanism in a way, they can actually grab it and hand it over.

(23:17 - 24:20) Rob Scheer: Better believe it, you know, and the crazy thing is, is that, you know, our organization, we do not charge. So they literally can go to, they can go and order 50 cases a month, every month. We have birth up to the age of 21, and then they also can order 50 of the Comfort XLs every single month. And there's no charge for them. So, you know, you cannot give me the excuse that you have to pay for them because we've done better. We've made sure that these items are free to children who are in foster care. We do no branding whatsoever. We do not even brand our own organization on anything when it comes to our comfort cases. And we do not allow any company to brand anything when it comes to anything that goes in those cases. And the reason for that is because children in our system are there because of a choice someone else made. A choice that someone else made. I do not need to tag them and let other people know that they are a child from the foster care system.

(24:20 - 24:27) Mike Spear: Let's let them be kids. I'm curious for comfort cases, like how you measure impact, how you think about impact today and how it's evolved over the years.

(24:27 - 25:46) Rob Scheer: So I will tell you, the thing that gets me is that, you know, especially when you're doing grants and stuff, they always want to measure and your impact, you know, what your flow and flow out is. And it's very hard with a nonprofit like ours. But what we've done is we've gone one step further. We actually make sure that we have dialogues with social workers where children are receiving the cases. So we are tracking at this point of how children are feeling. What are foster parents feeling like? Just yesterday, there was a foster parent who, in another state, their child arrived And their child arrived with a comfort case. And it was an emergency placement, so they didn't have anything to prepare for this child. But they had this backpack that had everything that that kid needed for, you know, that night. To get an email from a foster parent to say, you have no idea the weight you took off my shoulders. So those are the ways we have to measure it. Other than that, I've said this in large settings and all the universities you think of, only time will tell. Only time will tell. But guess what? The fact is, is at least we're doing something because For the longest time, they weren't doing anything. But only time will tell.

(25:46 - 25:55) Mike Spear: You mentioned to me when we last spoke that you do some other stuff too now, providing scholarships, your graduation rate, application rate. Talk a little bit about some of the stuff beyond the cases.

(25:55 - 27:30) Rob Scheer: I have a soft spot when it comes to kids who are aging out of the system, because I was one. And adopting a son who at the age of 18, who was getting ready to age out, who would have ever thought, it just doesn't happen. And so through our organization, we actually give scholarships out to children who are aging out of the system and going on to higher education, whether that's a trade school or a college. This year, we're actually giving five scholarships out. But we do something different. We just don't write them a check. We assign them a mentor that reaches out to them every single month, has conversations with them. for instance, we just hel was one of our scholars g summer because she's in be to fall, you know, the en we send every scholar eve get a whole box from us a box that's filled with you know, laundry deterge and you know, and the rea because we want to keep t the fact is Children in o see a connection and that such failure in our high s rate, failure within our c rate, failure within our k four year degrees because And that's something that allow here at comfort cas You know, we have gone further than just giving a child a case when they enter the system. We also are trying to be as much of a support mechanism when they also exit out of the system.

(27:30 - 27:46) Mike Spear: It seems like a pretty unicorn organization, rocket ship to the moon sort of a deal. I'm curious, you know, what are some things that surprised you in that trajectory, some things that you guys got wrong or some setbacks that were unexpected and kind of how you dealt with them, what you guys learned?

(27:47 - 28:14) Rob Scheer: we learn every day. And so, for instance, you know, all of the items that I said that we put in the case, we now add things like bomba socks. We think about girls who are over the age of 12. We provide feminine products. We think about children over the age of 10 who truly, as a father of four boys, need deodorant. And so we add a deodorant in. So those were some of the things in the very beginning that, you know, we had missed, but now we do it.

(28:15 - 28:20) Mike Spear: You can't talk about comfort cases. Outside of that, what's the most important cause that humanity can be tackling right now?

(28:20 - 29:08) Rob Scheer: People that are experiencing homelessness. I think that it is absolutely devastating. The fact of what rent is for housing, it's absolutely devastating that we have all of these abandoned office buildings because of COVID, that we have not figured a way to turn them into housing. It's absolutely horrifying to walk down a street and having to see somebody who really does not want to be experiencing homelessness, but has no other choice. And that is something as a country that we must fix immediately. Because once you put someone into their own home, I'm telling you, we've seen it. We know this is true. The pride that they get. They're able to be better humans. And I think we need to address that immediately.

(29:09 - 29:21) Mike Spear: When you decide it's sort of time to hang it up, go travel and focus on your family or whatever it is you choose to do post-career, what's something that you would like to look back and have accomplished?

(29:21 - 30:11) Rob Scheer: First of all, I don't believe in the word retirement because I already retired. I retired already after 28 years in banking. But you know what? I really truly do believe back, you know, looking a that their dads really, truly instilled empathy in them. See, the fact is, as humans, we must all realize that empathy is not in our DNA. It's not. Empathy is taught. It is taught. And for me to be able to look at these five incredible humans, to know that their father and I have done everything in our power to make sure they understand how important it is to have empathy, for each and every person that breathes on this planet. To me, that's a sex story.

(30:12 - 30:16) Mike Spear: Who's somebody else that you really admire who's doing good work and why?

(30:16 - 31:18) Rob Scheer: So for me to answer that question, it would not be truthful because I feel that so many times those of us who are even doing it right, we're so worried about our donors and losing that donor that we don't support each other. And that's why I had started my podcast, Fostering Change, where I actually highlight nonprofits because I want people to talk about other nonprofits. But you know, um, you know, I, I've been very lucky. I, I'm, I'm really good friends with Tiffany Haddish. She has an amazing foundation that she's really, really worked very, very hard on. You know, um, my, my, my amazing friend, Ashley Brown, who's Selfless Love Foundation, who is just growing this amazing, amazing organization. Um, you know, my, you know, I'm, I'm very lucky that I get to call Leanne Tuohy from the blind side, one of my dearest and closest friends and her foundation, the support that she's giving so many kids, um, it's sometimes unrecognizable. And so, you know, those are people that immediately come to mind for me.

(31:19 - 31:22) Mike Spear: What's next on the horizon for you and for Comfort Cases and how can people support your work?

(31:22 - 32:11) Rob Scheer: The next thing on the horizon for us is to continue to do the work that we're doing. But what I need people to do is I need people to realize that this is all of our responsibility. These children don't belong to me. They don't belong to you. They belong to us. And so what I ask people to do is go to and become what we call a bag buster, a bag buster. And literally for just $10 a month. And by the way, most people spend that in that overpriced coffee shop. But literally, for $10 a month, I am able to remove a trash bag from a child's hands and put a Comfort XL in their hand. So I really want them to do that. And what's next for us? You know, we've traveled into the UK. Our next stop is Canada, the Dominican Republic, and watching to see if my memoir actually gets turned into that movie that people are talking about.

(32:12 - 32:19) Mike Spear: you know, how did the foster systems compare around the world? Are we like, especially bad? Or is it just kind of a common problem for everybody?

(32:19 - 32:36) Rob Scheer: They're all bad. You know, Nelson Mandela said, you judge your society by the way you treat your children. You judge your society by the way you treat your children. We all get an F, an F. And that's why it's important that we get into these places and make that change.

(32:37 - 33:59) Mike Spear: Well, Rob, I want to thank you so much for spending some time with us today, for sharing your insights and your story. I've learned a ton. I really appreciate the way you think about community, taking the broad view and long-term view on everything, and the way you treat that sense of agency with your staff as well as the folks that you serve. Thank you very much for the work you're doing and for spending time with us today and sharing your experiences. Thank you, my friend. You take care. I can't wait to talk again. That's our show for this week. Thank you, as always, to our guests, Rob Scheer and the entire team at WCPG for helping to make this one happen. You can learn more about comfort cases at and in the show notes at If you enjoyed the episode, please follow, subscribe, or leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts, and share a link with any friends or colleagues you think might find it valuable. Our next guest is the founder and CEO of Dollar For, Jared Walker. Dollar For is one of my personal favorite type of organizations. They provide direct services in a relatively obscure but badly needed niche, while simultaneously affecting systems change. They're extremely efficient as well, in that relatively small donation amounts turn into tangible impact on a massive scale. Until then, Cause & Purpose is a production of On behalf of myself, Rob, and our entire team, thanks so much for listening, and look forward to speaking with you again soon.

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Cause & Purpose is a production of Altruous, an impact discovery and management platform for the next generation of philanthropists. Learn more about our work by visiting

This episode was edited by Worthfull Media. Original music composed by Justin Klump of Podcast Music and Sound.

Copyright 2024, all rights reserved.

People in this episode

Mike Spear

Social entrepreneur, consultant, and podcast producer, Spear has been a member and critic of the impact sector since 2006. His work spans product, innovation, impact advising, storytelling, and go-to-market strategies. Part of the founding team at, specializing in helping social good organizations build amazing products, increase their impact, and scale.

Rob Scheer

Highly motivated and dedicated to creating an environment of excellence all while managing multiple departments and providing stellar customer service. I focus on gathering the right people to accomplish company goals. I build teams that are efficient and effective.


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