Anyone who knows me knows that I am rarely at a loss for words, however a few weeks back, as I watched the news, one of the clips of the night tugged at my heartstrings.

On the screen chatting with a reporter was an angel. I don't recall her name but I will never forget her face, or the face of the little child she was holding. She was a foster parent of many children over some years, all with special needs. What strength she must have. Not only to be able to care for babies and children with the disabilities that she was describing, but to know that one day the children she has loved and cared for so deeply will leave her for another home. I wondered silently how she could summon such strength and knowing deep inside that I could not. I do not have what it takes inside me to let go of someone I had cared for in such a capacity. For this reason I knew I had to do something else to help. She was describing the needs of this baby, the surgeries to come, the disabilities that will never be outgrown, yet she was there for it all. Nurturing and loving, an angel to be sure. She isn't alone, there are many others like her and they need our help, yet how often do you hear them calling out for it?

Children who need foster families have been removed from their birth family homes for many reasons, for some it's neglect, abuse, abandonment, or other issues endangering their health and/or safety. Many of these children are filled with fear, anger, confusion, or a sense of powerlessness at having been removed from the only home they have ever known.

Please join me in doing one thing in the coming months (preferably more than one) to help these foster parents and the children in their care.

At STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART,INC, here in North County San Diego, they have a thrift shop where foster families can purchase all merchandise at extremely reduced prices to help cover the cost of clothing their foster children. They have a wide variety of items available at the Resource Center and Resale Store, but depend solely on the generosity of the community for donations. Let's be there for them and make some donations of our outgrown or unneeded items.

They have a need for quality or new items to keep their store stocked and take all children and adult clothing, baby beds and equipment, books, toys, games, kitchen ware, etc.

Please visit their site and have a look around. If you have items you would like to donate and live in North San Diego County, know it will be much needed and much appreciated.

One thing is sure, even if you do not live near San Diego County, there is a foster parent in need in your area. Please seek out your local Foster Parent Association and help you local foster parents be a strong voice for the children's sake.


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