simone-biles-1333x2000Olympic gold-medalist Simone Biles (19 years old) recently opened up to People magazine about her time in foster care before being adopted by her maternal grandfather, Ron, and his wife, Nellie. Sharing some of her memories, she said she was so young she didn’t fully understand what was going on at the time, “But I recall some of the kids coming to the foster home with only the clothes on their back and a backpack.”

Those early memories are the impetus for her new partnership with Mattress Firm Foster Kids, a donation-drive program that collects items for foster children including things like coats, pajamas, and school supplies. Biles told People that it was difficult to watch her fellow foster kids come in to care without even the basics. “It’s hard going into the system with hardly anything, because even though foster parents may receive a stipend, sometimes it’s not enough to cover all the necessities.”

Partnering with the program is a personal cause for her and she’s looking forward to attending many of the Mattress Firm events in person to meet the kids and keep sharing the word about the work that they are doing for kids in need.

“I came from a foster home and went on to achieve everything I’ve achieved,” she says. “I’m just hoping it can inspire other foster kids to never give up and to always pursue your dreams. And to play sports and get good sleep!”

“My message is: There are no limits.”

Photo Credit: Molly Cranna, People magazine