Pickles and Ice Cream
As you may have seen in our promotion on the air or on Facebook, there's a ladies' night fundraiser July 26 for foster kids!
The needs of children in foster care have always weighed on my heart. I have done several stories in my years of reporting and have thought long and hard about taking in foster children. Chris and I are up to our eyeballs working full time and raising a toddler, so we're not in a good place to be foster parents right now (especially with another baby coming soon) but I knew there had to be something I could do to help.
That's where the fabulous women at Lutheran Social Services helped me out. They sat down with me as a complete stranger and embraced my "zest" to help. They could have easily been skeptical about this woman sitting in front of them pitching ideas and promising to help, but they all got on board with my ideas and here we are!
The end result is the "Fostering the Future Fund"! It will be a resource for the social workers to help the kids and the families when they see a need that isn't getting met. Yes, foster parents get stipends for care, but the money only covers the basics. This is where we come in. I'm hoping people can learn about the cause and get behind it to make life a little easier for these kids who have been dealt a rough hand.
Think back to your childhood. What taught you the most about life and working on a team and healthy relationships? For me, being in sports and speech and clubs really showed me how to work with others and how to make friends. Some of these kids don't have access to sports or band or gymnastics or dance because there isn't extra money for the fees and gear. How about that summer camp you went to and made memories you'll have for a lifetime? Let's bless a child with the gift of those laughs, songs and campfires!
One of the things that's toughest about my job is reading about the bad stuff that happens to innocent children. Chris and I have spent many moments shaking our heads in disbelief that anyone could hurt or neglect a child, much less your own child. This is a sad reality in our world and these kids deserve to know what it's like to feel safe and loved.
Foster parents in our area are opening their hearts and homes to do that every single day. They're doing what they can and I'm guessing they would feel so good knowing there's a resource for them to make their foster children feel even better about their situations. I would be so happy to know they get to see the smile on a child's face where there used to be a frown. Something as simple as their own suitcase could be enough to make them feel more secure. I'm told some of these kids have to move in garbage bags. They deserve better and I'm hoping this fundraiser makes it possible to ease the financial burden for all involved.
Here's an example of how the community has already rallied to help a child: A teen foster child who has special needs was really thriving in his foster home. He loved his foster parents and their kids! The problem was the rules required he have his own room and the family didn't have the capital to build a room in the basement with an egress window. If they couldn't, this child would have had to go to an institution right before Christmas. We got the word out and friends and strangers made it happen for this family. The child got to stay where he was loved and happy. This made me so happy! These are the things we can do to make a difference for these kids!
I cannot imagine being a child and having to face the realities that some of these kids in foster care deal with every single day. I pray the families, biological and foster families, can find strength and wisdom to raise the best children possible and to find the energy to teach and love them so they can bloom in this life. I'm excited to see this fund take flight and am so looking forward to hearing the stories of how it's helping children smile more!
I appreciate your time and attention. I hope you feel inspired to help in your own way. I'm so fortunate the ladies at LSS are helping me make this happen and I'm so blessed to have viewers like you and a station that believes in putting community first as well. I hope to see you at the social! If not, there's always a way to help!
I'm posting the address for donations if you can't make it to the fundraiser. Here's a link to all you'll need to know for the social on Thursday July 26!!!
P.S. I'll blog about my babies early next week! Had to take this opportunity to talk about this important cause!
"Fostering the Future Fund"
attn: Nancy G.
LSS of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
1320 W. Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire WI 54701