The actual statement should read: WE DO… WHATEVER WE NEED TO DO… because we do a lot of things that don’t really read well on a grant application. The thing is, we do whatever we are needed to do. And this is a list that can’t possibly be categorized or summarized. It ranges from treating kids for lice or paying for a haircut or picking them up in the middle of the night when they’ve run away from their home on a weekend visit because people they don’t know are fighting with their parent and the cops are there and they are scared. They know to call us because we may have fostered them in the past, or they are friends of our children, and they may be reunified with the parent but we are still their on-call helpers. So, we get out of bed and pull on our clothes and we go and pick them up and bring them here for as long as it is needed. Sometimes they end up staying for a really long time. Sometimes we adopt them. There is also the list that includes us driving around in the dangerous parts of town to find a bio mom of one of our fosters that is overdosing to take her to the hospital and sit with her for three days before she is arrested. But those things never make it front and center because that just doesn’t read well in a power point presentation.
The bottom line is that non profits are supposed to have a lengthy, yet proper list, of “services provided” for outreach and donors to get a glimpse so they can determine whether or not we are deserving or worthy of support. We have been told many times that what we do isn’t “sustainable” so we don’t qualify for their grant. Oh well, disappointing for sure, but we can’t tell that to a frightened elementary school kid who has been dropped off on our doorstep by the cops now, can we? So, our list below is that “proper list” where we give you a breakdown of the highlights, but it surely doesn’t include the messy, filthy, exhausting, frustrating, hard things that we also do. We do it because we want to show them that God will always send helpers, and we want to live our lives being those helpers and raising up more helpers. So, in addition to all of that, we also do the following:
-We provide housing, food, clothing, shoes, school supplies, haircuts, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, computers, phones, cars, uniforms, extra curricular activities, vacations, medicine, dental and health care, and transportation to and from school and jobs to foster children and at-risk children .
-We provide supplemental parenting for single parents which then allows them to continue working when their children are on school break, holiday, or become ill.
-We are on call with each school for each child as pick up parents, attend teacher conferences for them, and also supervise their educational goals.
-We assist single parents with home improvements, home-repairs, obtaining vehicles, paying their annual real estate taxes, utility bills, furniture, bedding, linens, child-care, and help them with physical labor when they move. We have a truck and two trailers.
-We financially support women in prison by assisting them monthly for canteen purchases and phone minutes, and with the purchase of all work release necessities including a bicycle, helmet, backpack, rain gear, locks, mobile telephone, monthly telephone account, personal hygiene products, and food. We raise their children with the hope that the relationship between mother and child can be restored and healthy.
-We support women in transition from drug or alcohol dependence through financial support, placement in the proper facility through our community relationships, and by providing security deposits, furnishings, and “one month” of expenses when they graduate into the community.
-We facilitate the further education of young adults in our home by helping them attain a proper education by monitoring their attendance, their grades, and their extra curricular activities and involvement. We help those that have failed under their parents care to graduate high school with obtaining their GED certificates.
– We assist young adults with obtaining their drivers licenses, insurance, and vehicles which allows them to further their educational goals and get a good paying and stable job.
-We help single parents and former felons obtain jobs through our auction business, and through our community relationships.
-We provide bicycles for children and people without transportation.
-We provide a safe place for children to escape their environments temporarily and swim, play, eat healthy, home-cooked meals, travel, go to the beach, and attend church. They get to experience new and exciting adventures like fishing, theme parks, travel, and other opportunities that they would not otherwise experience. They know we are a safe place should any danger arise in their homes, they know to call us.
-We provide birthday experiences for each child at school (something that they have never experienced in their lives), bringing cupcakes to school to share with their class, and a Birthday party with school friends and gifts, etc.
– We provide Christmas experiences for children who would otherwise not experience Christmas, in our home, neighborhood, and in our community. After experiencing a situation where the caregiver sold and/or pawned all the Christmas gifts we provided we now focus on providing them “Experiences” that will build memories. Last year we took 14 children to Busch Gardens where they experienced for the first time; eating out at restaurants, staying in a hotel, riding a roller coaster, going to a zoo, and having a family vacation. No person can steal those memories from them, they will last a lifetime.
-When drugs, alcohol, abuse, or neglect create an unhealthy environment, we step in to ensure the safety of the child and seek to restore the families through intervention and guidance.
-We seek to honor God by being faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us, with our utmost goal being to protect and love overlooked, abused, or neglected children, in a healthy family environment.
-We help them experience a childhood free from anxiety and stress, with opportunities to enjoy normal play and growth.
-We also work hard to help their biological parents establish healthy relationships with them because this is the desire of every child- to be loved by their parents.
-We keep kids physically and emotionally healthy, safe, and secure in the knowledge that are loved and valued by adults they can rely upon now, and in the future. Their home life usually involves violence, strangers, abuse, drugs, and danger. Many times it is just plain neglect. Their environments are tumultuous and filled with drama and chaos.
-When they call us we act immediately to pick them up wherever they are and give them shelter.
-We expose them to a completely different lifestyle with experiences like travel, museums, nature, volunteering, cooking, budgeting, church, and maintaining a neat and orderly living space, which they often do not have at home.
What we really do? We love with everything we have, we give everything we have, and we give everything you give us to help those who need a helper.