Nationwide, there are over 402,000 children in foster care. In Arizona alone, there are over 13,000 children in foster care, which makes our state the leading state in the nation of foster kids per capita. Not really the kind of stat you want to be leading the country in. However, this just means that there are many opportunities available for us to help serve these vulnerable children who are in the child welfare system.
Foster Arizona is a wonderful non-profit organization that is doing their best to provide opportunities for kids in foster care. They exist to educate, encourage, and empower everyone to positively impact the lives of children in foster care. They recently held an Empowerment Event, where they invited over 100 girls and young women who are living in group homes. The girls heard encouraging messages about who they are – and who they are not. They wrote out negative messages they have heard, and have believed about themselves.
What a powerful exercise! And such a great reminder to this fragile population that they are capable of great things! Dimon Sanders, a former foster youth, and first black Miss Arizona Outstanding Teen, gave a great talk about the importance of education, and pursuing your dreams. After her talk, the girls wrote down some of their dreams, and many of them wrote “Go to college!”, and “don't be like my parents”, and even “join the FBI”.
Our office is located at San Tan Mall, here in Gilbert Arizona. The mall is where Foster Arizona chose to have this Empowerment event, and we were so very happy to be a partner in making this event happen, along with our neighboring vendors. The girls received free bubble tea, hair cuts, discounts at different stores, cupcakes, and more! It was such a beautiful event to be a part of – just to watch these kids get pampered!
YOU can volunteer at, or sponsor one of their next events! Find out more on their events page! No matter where you are, there are so many great organizations that care for foster youth, that you can be a part of! We know of several photographers who donate their time and talents to take free Senior pics for foster youth, as well as free family sessions for foster families. KimiGPhotography.com , and DEPhotoCinema.com are just some of our kind and generous photographers who love to gift foster and adoptive families with great images.
Our own CEO Todd Watson, and his family, were once a foster family. They cared for a special little girl, who they still stay in touch with – 3 years after she has left their home. You can read about their journey on Elisa's blog. Get some tissues ready. You've been warned.
And if you are into podcasts, Jihae Watson from our Community Development team, has a podcast . It highlights the many voices in the foster care and adoption community. You can also find out different ways to get involved, from becoming a foster parent, to being a CASA, or supporting a foster family in your community.
There are many foster families in our Showiteer community! Jaclyn Raymond, is possibly the world's youngest grandma (through adoption) at 28 years old! Devin and Katherine Robinson, of Anchor and Veil , are currently fostering 3 kids! We are truly inspired by those in our community! Thanks to those who seek to make the world a better place for the next generation.
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