Suitcases > Trash Bags
Have you ever wondered what happens when a child is removed from their home, or moves from one foster home to another? Most children are given two trash bags and the same number of minutes to decide what they will keep and bring with them, and what they will never see again. In the best of circumstances that is a difficult decision, but given the fact these children are already being displaced, it is just demoralizing. We recently partnered with H. Savinar Luggage Co, who have chosen to donate suitcases to kids in foster care for free. They generously gave suitcases for two children who just went home to their mother, and have a standing offer for us to take advantage of free suitcases for any child in foster care who needs one. Even though the kids situation is still dire, keeping their belongings in a suitcase instead of a trash bag is one small way to keep their dignity intact. We’re thankful for generous partnerships!
A Lot of Ways To Care For Children
As we said goodbye to Little Man and Little Miss last month, our bodies and hearts needed some time to rest, and re-connect as a family. While we have decided to not accept another long-term placement at the moment, we are always ready to open our home to children and those who care for them. We will be caring for another sibling set (a 3 yr old girl and 8 month old boy) for a short time in July. Also known as respite care, this allows other foster families a much needed break. In this case, we get to meet another brother & sister sibling set, and help provide a safe, comfortable home for the kids while giving their foster parents a break as well. We can’t wait to meet them later this week! If you have ever thought about becoming a foster parent, but don’t feel like you can commit to a long term placement, talk to us about emergency placements (24 hrs to a week) and respite care (vacations and short breaks). Our agency partners can get you certified!
“Love What Matters” Story Published
Shortly after the kids went home, I (Mike) shared a little about that experience on my Instagram page. I was contacted by the organization Love What Matters, who asked for a full story about our journey with foster care. Here is a link to the article that details more of our story as a foster family through the years.
Reaching More Churches
We continue to have opportunities to mobilize more churches and faith leaders in Los Angeles to meet the needs that exist in their communities. At a recent recruitment event in Northridge with Mount Ararat Church, my wife Amy was able to share her story about why she said yes to becoming a foster parent, and how her ‘Why’ has changed over time. Just this week, we have shared with pastors in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, and continue our work with churches in South Los Angeles, Downey, Pasadena, and the Westside of LA. I will be in Santa Clarita again in two weeks to begin coaching a team of leaders at Restoration Church in Valencia. Pray for them as they begin their foster care journey as a church!
Please pray for and with us that more and more churches respond on behalf of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our cities. Part of our time is always spent recruiting new churches, so if you would like to get your church involved, please let us know!
Foster Parent Support and Encouragement
Family Table is currently providing space for encouragement, friendship, and compassion for those who have opened their homes to children and youth in need. Around The Table, our support group, is a diverse group of people who meet once a month to hear each other’s stories, pray for one another, and provide tangible help when we can. Thanks to a new donor, our next meeting will be in person, with a catered meal and childcare for our foster parents to have a night out! If you are, or know a foster parent in the Los Angeles area, you can register here!
While summer can be a slower time for our work with churches, there is always a lot of work with foster families, local partners and government agencies. Funding for our projects is also slower in the summer, so we are always looking to introduce more people to the work we do. If you know someone who might want to hear more and financially invest in our work with vulnerable children and families in the child welfare system, please let me know! And please use this newsletter as a means of introducing someone new to the work of Family Table!
Thank you for your continued prayer and support!