Recently a friend of mine took emergency custody of her 5 grandchildren.
If she had not stepped up to take custody, they would have been split up, because very few foster homes have room for 5 children, and we are also experiencing an incredible shortage of foster families, due largely to the opiate epidemic. They will likely remain in foster care for at least a year, or more.
This friend is a social worker and longtime volunteer at local nonprofits. She was not prepared to raise 5 children at age 66, in a 2 bedroom home. But she is nonetheless making room for them, rearranging her life and her home, to give them structure and safety.
The kids range from 9 mos to 15 years old.
Only one of the 4 school-age children had been attending school. Now, their grandma has made sure to enroll them all in school, and I have been helping with their care, primarily the baby. Infants in DCS can attend daycare on a voucher, but there is a 6-month waiting list for the vouchers. Since my friend did not have the $ for daycare, and I had been working toward becoming a foster parent anyway, I agreed to watch the baby. Helping with these kids has been one of the greatest joys of my life.
As of now, we have received no money from the State for the care of the kids except for clothing.
Friends and family have been incredibly generous, and we're so grateful for all that people have given. One friend insisted on buying a new stove for the kids' grandma, since hers was broken. Another friend donated a crib for the baby, and when the sump pump went out, another friend collected money for a new one, and a local plumber donated his services.
One friend has donated hours upon hours of math tutoring and supplies to get the 2 older kids closer to their grade level in math. Another has donated guitar lessons. So many have donated toys, clothes, food and diapers. The trustee has helped w/ rent, and the food pantries have been lifesavers.
It takes a village!! And this village has really stepped up!!!!
But we need more, because raising 5 kids takes a lot - emotionally, physically, financially.
I hope you will consider donating to help this family - which has become like family to me.
I think most of us believe in the saying, "See a need, then fill it."
Here are some of the needs that cash donations will help with:
$1500/month to feed all kids (food stamps will not come through for another month and a half)
Membership at Boys & Girls Club
Extracurricular activities - sports, lessons, etc.
Furniture to make house accommodate all
Area rugs for crawling / learning to walk baby
Vacuum cleaner repair
Appliances that need updating
Dressers for clothing
Diapers / baby needs (children in foster care get formula, but not diapers)
**Any $ raised above the goal will go to an education / college fund for the kids**
Due to privacy concerns for the children, we don't want to use their names or photos, but please know that the kids are so sweet, so smart, and grateful to their grandma for all that she is giving them.
Thank you for anything you can do to help this family, and for sharing this with others! :)