ORDINARY PEOPLE MAKING AN EXTRAORDINARY DIFFERENCE
ORDINARY PEOPLE MAKING AN EXTRAORDINARY DIFFERENCE
New parents typically spend roughly 9 months preparing for the arrival of their baby. American culture has developed many different ways to celebrate the upcoming birth of a child, including: pregnancy announcements, gender reveal parties, maternity photo-shoots, and fun apps that illustrate a baby's current size and stage of development. Many first-time parents are thrown a baby shower to honor this new chapter, offer love and advice for the parents-to-be, and offset the heavy costs of all the items needed to care for the baby. Additionally, most working parents are able to alert their workplace of their needs ahead of time, and plan for their upcoming maternity or paternity leave.
Welcoming a new foster placement is not as predictable an experience.
For many people, the holidays are a special time that is filled with decorating, celebrating, giving and receiving - and maybe eating WAY too many treats along the way. We associate this season with warm memories, exciting events, extra quality time and family traditions.
But for children in foster care, this time of year can feel lonely and call attention to their current lack of normalcy...
November is National Adoption month, a time to spread awareness about the adoption process, share the stories of those who have been adopted or have adopted, and advocate for more than 125,000 children and youth in foster care across the country who are currently waiting for their forever families.
This year's National Adoption Day will be celebrated on Saturday, November 23. The first National Adoption Day was inspired by Michael Nash, a former presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s Juvenile Court. Nash would open the court on Saturdays and finalize adoptions to reduce the backlog of one of the busiest courts in the nation.
Read on to learn about one Houston family's story of adoption through foster care...
We couldn’t provide quality support to our foster care community without the local businesses and people who join us along the way. Our Supporter Spotlight series continues with: the Sequeira Family.
Kasandra (right) and her family have been supporting Houston Angels since the beginning, and last week they officially became one of our chapter’s very first Love Box groups! We are SO thrilled to have this sweet family volunteer in our program. Kasandra says,
“I first learned of the Angels program through my childhood friend, Marissa Van Bibber, who is the President of the New Braunfels chapter. I taught for 10 years, and during that time I saw the need for a stable home life to be successful in the development of any child. And these kids [in foster care] have the chips stacked against them already and it’s not their fault.
There are so many amazing charities and causes. But when you support children in foster care, you are also addressing so many other societal issues like suicide, homelessness, dropping out of high school, teen pregnancy, and incarceration. I knew our family wasn’t in a place to foster/adopt, but we could find a way to do ‘something’ .
I am so excited to get started as a Love Box Leader and provide material items, but more importantly, love and emotional support for both kids and parents. We HAVE to support the parents because that’s all these kids have right now.”
Thank you Sequeira Family for your continued support!
We know that children in foster care thrive with healthy relationships, stable environments and community support. Our Love Box Program was created to wrap this community support around foster families, and one of the ways we do this is through intentional giving - the giving of thoughtful, fun and practical gifts and resources that meet the specific needs of the child(ren) and their entire family.
Knowing that the holidays can bring additional chaos and demands for any family, we love to take this opportunity to ease some of this pressure with one-time Love Boxes. So this October, we partnered with amazing donors to provide boxes packed FULL of Halloween items for 3 families on our Love Box Program's waitlist. Our donors purchased the items, and we collected, assembled and delivered. Check out our recap video above.
We couldn’t provide quality support to our foster care community without the local businesses and people who join us along the way. Our Supporter Spotlight series continues with: Christine MacMillan.
Christine works at Chevron and is a member of the West University Rotary Club. We can’t thank Christine enough for the integral role she played in the West University Rotary Club‘s recent $1,000 donation to Houston Angels in support of the local foster care community.
Christine is a native Texan who settled in Houston in 2018. She is mama to Sophie Marie and is currently enjoying the adventures of toddlerhood. Christine was an exchange student to Australia in 2003 through Rotary International. She graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in 2009 and traveled the world working on ships throughout her twenties. She joined the West U Rotary Club a few years ago for an opportunity to have a positive impact on the local community.
Christine found out about Houston Angels through her friend and running buddy. She fell in love with this mission to ensure our local foster families feel the love and support they need. Christine said, “I want to see every child as confident and happy as my own… see picture attached!”
Thank you Christine for your continued support!
October 10 is World Mental Health Day - a day when so many people and organizations highlight mental health issues and the need for supportive efforts....
Our Supporter Spotlight series continues with The Bridge Montrose. The church was an amazing early supporter of Houston Angels during our startup fundraising days, and donated $1,000 towards our goal. And more recently, members of the church helped provide homemade meals for our Love Box Family who had just welcomed a new placement into their home.
The Bridge Montrose follows Christ and strives to live together in authentic community, bearing each other's burdens and sharing each other's joys. They support causes internationally and locally here in Houston.
And a very special thanks to Lori Stephens who is on the missions team and connected with us. Lori says, “I love connecting people to organizations that have a heart for supporting the foster system, as I am personally connected to the foster care system through friends and families. I specifically love Houston Angels because it recognizes the need to support the families that pour out their lives as they are providing loving homes for kids in foster care.”
Thank you for your continued support, Bridge Montrose and Lori!
A few weeks ago, our team was out in Austin, TX for our organization's first annual national conference. On the last day, we all settled into our seats to prepare for author and speaker, Anna LeBaron's presentation. We noticed that a single pencil had been placed on the table in front of each person's name-tag. Anna began her talk by explaining the significance of these pencils and how they related to the stories she was about to share...
We couldn’t provide quality support to our foster care community without the local businesses and people who join us along the way. Our Supporter Spotlight series continues with: DeAnna Atkinson.
DeAnna reached out to us about partnering with her employer, @ubs, which ultimately played a HUGE role in Houston Angels’ back to school service projects. DeAnna says:
“I have a heart for Foster Care because my mother (now deceased) grew up in foster care and didn't get the same loving support that Houston Angels gives. Foster care is difficult, especially if children never get adopted (my mother was in a foster home until she graduated high school and married my father) and it makes them always feel as though they will be abandoned. Fight or flight runs deep in their veins. My mom struggled with this her entire life, and it left its emotional damage on our family for sure.
I was incredibly touched by the [National Angels] story about the young boy whose mentor introduced him to boxing and it changed his family dynamics, it changed his grades, and ultimately made a difference. I think if my mother had an organization and a mentor while growing up, she would have been much happier and could have seen the world through a different, more loving lens.
UBS does a ‘season of service’ every year and looks for amazing organizations to support. My thought was to partner with Houston Angels so we could actually see the impact we are having as an organization with these children. I mentioned it to several of our offices so we could help as many people as possible and they came to the rescue. I personally donated supplies for 17 of the backpacks UBS provided, and our downtown office also provided backpacks and supplies. I hope that this partnership is just beginning, and that we eventually participate in the Love Box program and make a huge difference.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the [Back to School] event, but I hope to attend more in the future and my goal is to become a mentor as well.”
Thank you for your continued support, DeAnna!