Currently, 513,000 children are in our country's foster care system--and many of them will end up facing life's challenges alone.
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and we've found multiple opportunities for moms to get involved. Many families aren't able to take in a foster child--but that doesn't mean there isn't something they can do. With just a few minutes of your time, you can make a lifelong impact on a foster child's life. Here are some great ways to give back...
Only have a few minutes?
1.Learn the facts and gain understanding about foster care by visiting www.fostercaremonth.org.
2.Make a financial contribution to Rowell Foster Children--it doesn't matter how big or small.
3. Send a letter of encouragement to a foster child--just a little note can go a long way.
4. Send a care package to a foster child on holidays, or anytime. Visit Orphan Foundation of America to get more info.
5. Donate goods: Get rid of your old--or new--clothing, school supplies, shoes and books. Visit My Stuff Bags Foundation to see where you can send your stuff.
Have a few hours?
1.Volunteer at a foster care program: You can do this one or more times. Visit the Child Welfare League of America to see where you can help out.
2. Become a mentor: You can do it on a regular basis or every so often. Visit v Mentor for info on mentoring opportunities.
3. Are you a mental health professional? Open your practice to foster youth...they're likely to need it the most. Find a program near you.
4. Recognize a person or foster parent in your community in order to raise awareness in the neighborhood. Visit Foster Care Month to learn more about the foster care system.
5. Make a presentation to a school or congregation in your community. Check out these resources to learn how you can get involved.
A bigger time commitment?
1. Tutor a child: Because they often have to change schools or have social/behavioral challenges, being a tutor can be a huge help. Check out programs at your local YMCA.
2. Become a weekly mentor: Help youth with school work, prepare a resume, give them career advice. Want to find a program in your area?
3. Create a permanency pact: If you can't commit to being a foster parent, this secures a relationship between a foster child and an adult.
4. Dedicate yourself to a career in social work: It can be the most fulfilling job in the world! Visit the National Association of Social Workers.
5. Foster a child: The ultimate sacrifice. For more info, visit the National Foster Parent Association.