The Mountain Air is a local business who have found unique supportive ways to help our mission. They not only have held generous fundraising events to benefit FCNI, but they recently invited our youth to participate in designing and executing a community art project, enabling her to express herself in a safe and encouraging environment. Read more about Josh and Lindsey Haring of The Mountain Air to learn more about why they support us and why they chose our youth for this very special art project.
Rosa entered college undocumented and transitioning from foster care. These two life experiences meant that she faced more obstacles than almost all of her freshmen peers. The only thing that was for certain for Rosa, was that nothing was certain. She had dreams--big dreams--but she wasn’t fully sure if they would be attainable. All she really knew was that she had the drive and the determination to do her part to achieve her goals; all she needed was a little support to go the full distance.
Gratitude can come from suffering, hope from devastation, and intentionality from chaos.
Over this past Memorial Day weekend, I spent time ruminating about a trip my wife and I took two years ago to France, and our visit to Omaha Beach during the 75th year celebration of D-Day. We spent a good part of a day walking through the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial–it was sobering to say the least. It is a stark reminder about the cost of freedom; about commitment and sacrifice for a greater good.
For the better part of five decades, I have worked with Foster Parents. This group of extraordinary, unique individuals have certainly left an indelible, positive imprint on my life. I am not sure I have the skills to craft an appropriate expression of gratitude I have for those who have turned their homes and lives into sanctuaries, hospitals, safe havens, classrooms and sometimes even battlefields for our children and youth (and not without costs)... but here I go.
I foster every day...I encourage and promote growth and healing in the lives of my bio children and in the youth who I mentor. If I were just to tell you that I foster, you probably and most likely, would think that I am talking about “foster care.”
As I have sojourned through seven decades of life, I have been in awe of the individuals who have been gifted with skills and abilities so beyond the norm. There are musicians, scientists, athletes, writers, artists; people in all walks of life who have a Special Calling to bless humanity with their unique gift. The contributions of the uniquely gifted make life rich, more meaningful and better for everyone. But, let’s not forget – each one of us has unique gifts and skills to contribute to the grand scope of life.
April is our national “Child Abuse Prevention” (CAP) month. This is truly a meritorious focus since children are our most valuable resource. When our children grow up Safe and Healthy, there is an 85% chance that they will become positive contributors to society, and not consumers of public resources. Let’s face it, child abuse and neglect is unconscionable and produces severe damage through the trauma impact on the children who’ve been victimized.
Lottie didn’t have a typical childhood. Growing up with her dad who lived with a medical condition that left him physically challenged meant that Lottie had to carry more of the caregiving duties because he wasn’t able. Everything in Lottie's life took a backseat to her dad's condition and needs, including school and her own social development. Eventually her dad’s condition worsened and he was moved into a full-time care facility. Without any family, Lottie was placed into foster care at the age of 14.
“There is a feeling I’ve been getting lately and I want to tell you about it. I don’t know what it’s called, but I think you will because I know you and you know everything.” Hannah abruptly interrupted our budgeting chat, which had grown a bit complicated. In all honesty, I think we both needed a little break from that business.