Every time I meet with a Foster Together donor or helper, I leave with a full heart. My whole idea with Foster Together was to show the average person how to meet needs in foster care, and each of our team members bring their specific angle and history into caring for kids and families.
I don't want to keep the privilege of knowing them to myself. For Foster Together, our "success stories" are always in the context of relationships.
Read their stories, and consider joining us!
Nicole is one of our most active Foster Together champions. We've been communicating for months, but only met in person last week at our first Denver "Thank You Party" for donors and helpers. Nicole emailed me a few months back: "I heard you on Colorado Matters on NPR today. I want to know if there's a way to get personally involved." I ran her background check, reviewed some etiquette and expectations with her and a foster mom (who is a single parent, works full time, and fosters a two-year-old) in her zip code, and set them up on a "blind date." They answered the questions I'd prepared for them and decided to move forward as a "foster-helper match." Nicole drops off a homemade dinner once a week, and babysits to allow the foster mom a few hours of quiet time. When she told her story at our party, she said doubling a recipe or taking a walk to the park with her new little friend doesn't take much extra effort, compared to the satisfaction of investing in her neighbors.
Brooke, the foster mom who I matched Nicole with, wrote to me. "L (child) loves playing with Nicole and the break for me is so important at a time when financial and emotional resources are thin. And on top of that, she makes us the BEST food!"
Sara owns a photography business in Castle Rock. She's proud of her two kids (11 and 9), and she enthusiastically started donating $20 a month at Christmas time. Through emails, I could tell her heart is big, and when I got to hug her in person, I she asked, "What more can I do? I love the way these families provide stability and comfort. Can I babysit? Can I drop off meals?"
Kristin grew up as a foster-sister to dozens of kids. Now? She's a second-generation foster mom, supported by her roommates and fiancé. Through weekend trips to Breckenridge, a carefully crafted carpool schedule, and constantly being the youngest caregivers on Parents' Night, they create a stable, extended family for one sixteen year old girl who adores belonging to this unconventional village. (Sidenote: Kristin and her sister, Michelle, started fostering as a team two years ago. Michelle serves as a board member for Foster Together while she completes her MBA at Kellogg.) Kristin received a Panera gift card during our Feast to the Families project, and took her teenager on a special outing. She regularly connects me with new foster families and friends who want to find a way to help kids, but feel overwhelmed by the system.
-Hope, Founding Foster Mom