This Saturday, Nov. 13, at the regional Foster/Adopt Fall Festival in Asheville, you have the opportunity to talk with young men and women who have lived in foster care.
Western North Carolina residents may be familiar with the former nonprofit agency Under One Sky, which provided adoption recruitment services and support for foster care youth between the ages of 11 and 17. When Under One Sky closed last year due to a loss of funding, founder Diane Delafield was not deterred.
Second Wind was recently formed by several former Under One Sky staff members, as well as a number of former Under One Sky youth who have either aged out of foster care, or are approaching the age at which this will occur. Together they are developing programs that support their transition out of foster care, while at the same time passing on what they have learned to others.
One of the most eye-catching programs of this organization is Train the Trainers. This group currently consists of seven previously fostered youth and two adult mentors. The youth share their personal experiences of living in foster care and discuss the importance of fostering and adopting older children. They offer invaluable personal insight for any prospective foster/adoption family, individual interested in supporting a fostered youth, or worker in the social service and childcare related fields.
We can be the village that raises our children. There are so many ways in which to reach out to the fostered youth in our community. If fostering or adoption is not an option for you, consider becoming a mentor, donating funds for extracurricular sports and classes or hosting a Train the Trainers meeting at an organization you are involved with. From wherever you come, you are humbly invited and welcomed to this most special event.
Educator Maria Montessori said, “Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future.” Her words are a poignant summation of why providing support to a foster child is one of the most worthwhile ways of giving. Children are our connection to the present and our greatest hope for what is to come.
Foster Adopt Fall Festival at the Crown Plaza Hotel (off of I-240 on Resort Drive, between West Gate Plaza and Sam’s Club)/ Saturday, Nov. 13. 2 to 5 p.m. Drop in any time. More information at 250-5868 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is free.