It was just one year ago when we let ourselves dream of helping more kids in foster care, of getting our friends involved, and of connecting the foster care community to individuals and groups who care. Along with our young kids, we talked about ways to "welcome" kids in foster care the way God welcomes each of us. It was then that Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach was born.
These wishes and visions have led us to this moment. We are humbled at the generous support that we have received from friends, family, neighbors, our church, and partners here in Ohio and across the US. This year would not have been possible without the support of :
- businesses and professionals like Chris Conway and Karen Cox at Ingage Partners, Inc. who provided us with web development
- graphic designers like Michelle Angelosanto who developed our logo
- schools like All Saints who hosted our 1st Welcome Bag drive
- organizations like One Simple Wish and Hasbro who showered the kids we serve with toys
- volunteers at A Family for Every Child for creating and shipping hundreds of beautiful scrapbook pages for our Lifebook projects
- individuals/groups in our local community that have baked, knitted, sorted, and volunteered to serve in any way
- community venues like the YMCA who is partnering with us to host our 1st Welcome Party
- donations of money, time, and talents from generous individuals, troops, classrooms, and small business owners
- universities such as University of Dayton who have taken an interest in working with us to research barriers in foster care, as well as, possible solutions
In the last year, we have partnered with three local foster care agencies and are currently planning to add at least 1-2 more to the partnership. We have been able to provide over 70 children being placed in a foster home with Welcome Bags and hope to more than double that in 2014. We have provided clothing and items to meet the needs of children entering care, and aided a foster family that was victim of a house fire. Local business have agreed to partner with us in hosting Welcome Parties for foster children and their families to allow the kids to experience the fun and excitement of having a party in their honor. We have collected books so that children can have a book to read or take with them after a therapy session, and helped children make ornaments at their Christmas party. We are assembling lifebooks/scrapbooks to help preserve the child’s childhood memories along their journey. Also, we provide quarterly volunteers to lead service projects at local foster care training events for the children. We are seeking relationships with local universities, schools, and churches to get information out to the public about foster care and ways to serve. We already have plans to work with students at the University of Dayton to further research and define the needs of older children in foster care so that we might better meet their needs and support their future.
We have grand plans for the future involvement of Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach in the foster care and adoptive community. This will be made possible only with your help. Thank you very much for every prayer, words of encouragement, donation, volunteer, and talent shared. Please continue to join us in our efforts to make positive connections and lasting memories for youth in foster care.
Until each one is home,