In Massachusetts alone, more than 10,000 children and young adults per year are placed in foster care because their parents are unable to provide them with a safe, nurturing environment in which they can grow and thrive. Many of these young people have experienced severe trauma and neglect which places them at a higher risk for experiencing homelessness, unemployment, undereducation, and poverty in adulthood.
At HopeWell, we know that with the right structure and support, youth in foster care can achieve whatever they set their minds to. And a caring, nurturing home is the foundation on which their success is built.
That’s why we’re incredibly grateful for foster parents like Gail Cardone. For more than 20 years, Gail has opened her home and her heart to young people in need of the love, stability, and support that is necessary for any of us to live fulfilling and productive lives.
Going above and beyond her typical foster parenting duties, Gail and another foster parent in 2007 launched “M.T. (My Transition) Pockets,” an initiative to provide new, wheeled suitcases to foster youth who all too often are shuffled in and out care with their belongings in a black trash bag.
“You can’t visualize what a child goes through, taken from their homes mid-day or in the dead of night with their lives reduced to a few things in trash bags while strangers stand around telling them what their lives are like,” Gail said when the project launched. “What we’re trying to do is make their lives a little easier, a little better.”
But for Gail and other HopeWell foster parents, it’s not just about what she gives to the youth in her care, it’s what she gets in return.
“This family-oriented organization has provided awesome support [and] education, which has given me the opportunity to experience the most extraordinarily enhanced life,” Gail told supporters at our When I Think of Home Gala last October.
“I have been fortunate to have fostered 20 young people, even adopting one who is now married and lives in Texas,” she added. “Helping children reach and soar beyond what their world has provided for them is incredible. I am humbled and forever changed.”
Are you ready to be changed?
If you’re able to provide a safe, stable home environment (whether you rent or own your home), if you’re a good communicator and problem solver; and if you understand that every child is unique and comes with his/her own abilities, interests and background, you have what it takes to become a foster parent.
You can be married or single. You can live in a city, a suburb or a small town. You can already have kids, or not. Foster families, like any other families, don’t all look alike. The one thing HopeWell foster parents do share is the desire to provide care and stability to children in need of a safe and loving home.
If you’re interested in becoming a HopeWell foster parent, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us here.
Not interested in fostering but still want to help a child overcome a challenging past and have a brighter future? Make a donation to support our work. We all have a role to play!