Charity calls on families to foster this season

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Officials from Child and Family Charities in Lansing are asking for families to give the thousands of children in Michigan’s foster care system a home for the holidays.

If you’re looking for a way to give back this season, fostering a child could be your answer.

“We have completed several adoptions this year, so that’s been amazing but with that we lose many of our foster families,” says Julie Thomasma, CEO of Child and Family Charities.

This holiday Thomasma is asking for families to step up and care for a child who needs them.

“When you look around at all your blessings and you see your own family and how you are a part of that, everybody wants to have that same feeling of being part of a bigger picture with a family,” says Thomasma.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the number of foster homes in our state has dropped by about 30% over the last year.

Though officials say recruitment efforts help make up for this loss, there are still only about half as many foster homes as there are foster children in Michigan.

It’s that reason Linda Rathbun says she’s always on the hunt for family willing to change a child’s life.

“If they come to us with an open heart and an open mind and they say ‘we love children, we want children’ we go, ‘we want you,'” says Rathbun.

Rathbun says many of the children in foster care come from a background of substance abuse, homelessness, or neglect. So she says finding a foster family to provide a healthy environment for a child just in time for the holidays may be the best gift one could receive.

“It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful to see this. It’s wonderful that people are willing to open their homes and their hearts to those that need them,” says Rathbun.

If fostering isn’t for you, there are other opportunities to give back this season like volunteering with the charity, sponsoring a foster parent, or donating pillows, blankets, socks, or pajamas of all sizes.

Visit the charity’s website to get involved or call Linda Rathbun at (517) 882-4000 ext. 140

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