Imagine not having family to gather with at the holidays. Imagine not having family to be near anytime of the year. Imagine not having a place to call ‘home’. For kids in foster care or kids living on the streets, this is not an image—this is their reality. This fact makes me cry.
If you have read my initial blog post, then you know that I am passionate about ensuring kids have stable homes. Adoption is one path towards this end, and it has been my personal path. Adoption brought me to my real Mom, and it made me a real mom.
Over the years, I met numerous dedicated people that work every day on finding kids stable homes. The work of two great organizations in this space—StandUp for Kids and Kidsave International—stands out. So remarkable is their work, that I built My Day Screen™ around a donation model that would benefit these two organizations. Our company donates a total of $2 from every online sale of $30 or more to Kidsave International and StandUp for Kids. Each organization receives a dollar from these qualifying sales.
Yes, I think StandUp for Kids and Kidsave International are amazing organizations, but you can see this for yourself. Here are some kids that are being helped by Kidsave International and StandUp for Kids. Read their kids’ stories and visit their websites. I dare you not to cry...
Kidsave International Participant:
Devon, Age 14
Devon, age 14, is a charming kid who is fascinated with everything Hollywood and Disney channel. Devon expressed that he wants to become an actor. He even has a plan to take acting classes.
Devon loves talking about his aspirations and sharing his dreams. He’s inquisitive and genuinely interested in others. To that end, he also enjoys asking questions and learning more about others.
Devon enjoys academic success in his special day class. He’s an active participant in his therapeutic services and is therefore making much progress. Additionally, he has a high level of awareness. Devon is immersed in the activities of his middle school and is also an avid sports fan and enjoys watching soccer, basketball and tennis.
Kidsave is helping Devon find a host family or an adoptive family!
Kidsave International is a U. S.-based nonprofit focused on finding families for older children in institutional care. Kidsave uses its signature Family Visit Model and other programs to help kids ages 7-18 in U.S. and overseas foster care systems and orphanages find lasting relationships with caring adults.
StandUp for Kids Participant:
Shylesia, Age 20
I was molested at 13 by a friend of the family. My mom took me out of school because we kept moving from motels, to shelters, to apartments. I was so tired of moving. It was hard to make friends and study because of all of the moving. At 17, I got pregnant. I moved to a transitional house with my little girl when I was 18. I only stayed in the house for a month because there was a leak in the ceiling. The program that placed me there never found another place for me to stay. So now I was homeless again, with a child.
I stayed on the streets for about a month. I moved back to a shelter where I thought my mom was, but I couldn’t find her. I didn’t know where my mom was for several months. I later found out that she moved to Chicago. Me and my little girl went to live with my mom, but we only stayed for a month before moving back together. I was back and forth between different shelters for several months with my daughter. My mom was staying in a motel. When I was in between shelters, I lived on the streets. It was so cold. I was trying to survive for my little girl. I was determined to stay strong for her and keep her out of foster care. I went back to a shelter where they started a program for women and children. This is where I am currently staying.
I met StandUp For Kids during their street outreach. I talked to the counselors because I thought they could help me and they did. They helped me to contact an organization that can help with my social security. They helped me get my birth certificate and are helping me find housing. They are so sweet and provide me with clothing and food. Best of all, they help me make better decisions. I am trying to improve my life. My daughter is in daycare. I’m looking for a job. I have my GED. I want to go to school to become a physical therapist. I want safe and affordable housing for me and my daughter. I want my daughter to have a better life than me. I don’t want her to go through the same things I’ve been through.
StandUp for Kids is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of youth homelessness in local communities. Since 1990, StandUp for Kids has cared for homeless and at-risk youth by transitioning them from crisis to connection. They give their youth a sense of safety, hope, and belonging through housing support, mentoring, drop-in centers, and street outreach.