Every Monday Matters: Get involved with foster kids
By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) More than 510,000 children are in foster care in the U.S. — their average age is 10.
Approximately 46 percent of children are in non-relative foster family homes, 24 percent are in relative foster homes, 17 percent are in group homes or institutions, 3 percent are in pre-adoptive homes, and 10 percent are in other placement types.
40 percent of the children are white, 32 percent are black, and 19 percent are Hispanic.
The average length of stay for all children currently in foster care is 2.4 years.
16 percent of the children in foster care have been in foster care more than 3 years.
More than 51,000 children are adopted annually from the foster care system.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
1. Find a foster care facility near you. Contact them and ask how you can help.
2. Sign up as a volunteer and get your family and friends involved.
3. Be prepared. Volunteers at a foster care facility can be involved in everything from outside physical activities to arts and crafts.
4. Become a foster parent or adopt a child.
Children in foster care have been abused, abandoned, and/or neglected. Many will not return to live with their parents or even with a relative. While we wish the statistics were different, it is up to us to provide the love and support these children need. They didn't choose to be placed in foster care, but we can choose to step into the gap and make a difference. Who taught you how to ride a bike? Swim? Or prepare for a math test? Whether you remember or not, those people cared...and so can you.
These are amazing words when you understand the back story. Steven is a 40-year-old corporate exec with everything going for him — a good family, lots of friends, a solid job, and a relatively peaceful upbringing.
"I first met
Six years ago, by a stroke of luck or a power bigger than most can comprehend, Steven and
"I will never forget the first couple hours with him," shared Steven. "He was so love-starved. He was hard, but so soft in the middle. And he had this sparkle in his eye that caught my attention. I had no idea what I was getting myself into."
Steven fell in love with
"Looking back, I can't believe how quickly the tables turned. I was 34 and he was 9. I was supposed to be the one blessing his life, but I could not have been more wrong," said Steven. "I made a decision to come visit him once a week...possibly the best decision I've ever made."
"In the beginning it was a little awkward, but it quickly became my favorite day of the week," admitted Steven. "We helped each other. I made sure he knew how much he was loved, and he made sure to always teach me a lesson about gratitude and having a positive attitude."
So often, when people get involved in making a difference in the world (outside of themselves), they find that the biggest difference that is being made is right inside their own heart.
"This boy had nothing when I met him," said Steven, "at least to most standards. But he had something that every single person in the world wants ... an appreciation and gratitude for every single day he gets to go to sleep and wake up to a new day. That's it...that simple. And it changed my life completely. He has taught me about joy and peace, and I can never thank him enough for it. I mean, it was never supposed to be about me in the first place. But now it is about 'us' … and that's a magical thing."
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