Everyone is changing how they are providing services to the community and in the nonprofit world, it means being flexible and listening to the people they serve. Love Fosters Hope brings hope, healing and a bright future to children and teens in foster care who have been abused, abandoned and neglected. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and by changing the life of an abused child by giving them hope and healing can break the cycle of abuse forever. According to Love Fosters Hope’s Executive Director, Cindy Mericle, “For 20 years most of our energy has been focused on the children and teens. COVID-19 has re-calibrated our focus to the entire foster family. Supporting the families promotes a more nurturing environment for the vulnerable kids.”
Love Fosters Hope has adjusted some programs and expanded others due to stay at home restrictions, schooling from home and social distancing. Love Fosters Hope’s mentors are staying connected with their teens via cell phone, Facebook, and text rather than meeting in person. They are listening, encouraging, calming their fears, and planning special events for when they can return to their normal visits.
Fun projects and activities are delivered each week to teens who live in a residential treatment center (RTC). The projects range from crafts to gardening, to baking and games. The RTC director said the teens are struggling with boredom from being cooped up so long, which leads to tension and behavior problems. The goal of the projects is to help reduce tension and bring some fun and variety into their days. Care packages were sent to every home with a gift for each child, a family game, snacks and any other needs they shared.
A foster mom of 6 boys said, “You have no idea how much this has b=helped. I have been so stressed, and the boys have been stressed from being cooped up. I’m tearing up right now. I just thank you fro providing these things we need and the snacks and games. They have really helped. You have no idea what this means to us. I’m just so thankful.”
Tutoring is being offered to foster family kids via Zoom. Some of Love Fosters Hope’s generous partners donated gently used laptops and Chromebooks for several of the children and teens who need them for their school work. On top of that, groceries, medicine, and other items have also been delivered to some of these families.
Plans are still moving forward to host 4 summer camps this year where hundreds of kids and teens who are in foster care experience a crazy amount of fun, adventure, excitement, learn to overcome challenges, ride horses, explore nature, express themselves through arts and crafts. All of this is done in a safe and nurturing environment in which the children and teens feel accepted, understood, and loved.
A final adjustment is the Love Fosters Hope Night of Hope Gala. the Celebrate the 20’s themed gala has been moved to August 22! Click here to find out more about that event!
Montgomery County Community Foundation embraces the future by creating legacies that improve the quality of life through support of non-profits serving Montgomery County and scholarships. To find out more about MCCF, go to www.mccfoundation.org or call Julie Martineau at 281.367.8158.