Elks Aidmore

"Building programs is our business. Rebuilding lives is our passion."

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  • May Is National Foster Care Month

    Not everyone can be a foster parent, or a direct care worker in a residential program. It’s a tough job! Yet, everyone can help in some way. There are roughly 450,000 children in foster care today in the United States…over 15,000 of those live in Georgia. Foster care is in crisis and there are children right now who need your help.

    In Scripture, the number seven is especially prominent appearing over 700 times. From the seven days of Creation to the many “sevens” in Revelation, the number seven connotes such concepts as completion and perfection, exoneration and healing, and the fulfillment of promises and oaths.

    Even in the throes of COVID-19, here are SEVEN ways YOU can help a child in foster care without being a foster parent

     

    Bringing Resources to School-Aged Foster Children

    These resources can include paper, pencils, pens, calculators, backpacks, and other school needs. For those who are enrolled in college, bookstore gift cards and certificates can also be quite beneficial.

    Or you might consider donating to the Ed Hixon Scholarship Fund. Named after Georgia Elks Association Past State President Ed Hixon, the fund provides financial assistance to youth entering technical school or college.

     

    Helping Those Who Age Out

    For many foster children, foster care is a temporary service before returning home to a parent, moving in with a biological family member, or even beginning a new life in an adopted home. Yet, for thousands who do not find reunification with family in their lives, aging-out of care can be a tremendously frightening experience.

    Elks Aidmore provides a “transitional living” experience for those aging out of care by helping young adults secure housing, jobs and educational opportunities. You can help by donating furniture or everyday household items to help these young adults furnish their apartments.

     

    A Community Clothes Closet

    Sadly, many children are placed into foster care with just the clothes on their back, or with very little to call their own.  Are there clothes in your closet waiting to be donated? Gently-used clothing your children or grandchildren may have outgrown? A local store in your community who would donate new clothing for a foster child?

    We serve 320 children and youth each year, all sizes, ranging in ages from birth to 21. For many children in foster care, it may be the first time they have ever received a new set of clothing to call their very own.

     

    Suitcases for the Next Journey

    Many children and youth come into foster care with all their belongings crammed into a large plastic garbage bag. For older children in care, this black plastic bag can be an embarrassing symbol of all that is wrong in their life. The gift of a suitcase can be a sign of pride, respect, and love.

     

    Help for the Foster Parent

    A cooked meal, running errands, helping out at Christmas time and birthdays, helping to pay for summer camps and field trips for foster children. These are just a few of the many ways you can help a foster family in your own area. Without a doubt, they will appreciate and welcome your help and support, as you help to share the challenge of caring for children in need in their homes.

     

    The Church

    Perhaps there is a church in your area (maybe your church?) that is looking for a way to minister to others. Maybe your own church is seeking ways to reach out to those in need. There are a number of ways that faith-based organizations can help children in care. Hosting a local foster parent association and support group is one such way a church can serve foster parents. Another way is serving as a location for family visitations. Churches can provide a safe, consistent, warm, and inviting atmosphere for children and birth family members to meet during visitation sessions. Indeed, not only can this be a form of outreach for a church, but the message of love and forgiveness is also being practiced, as well.

     

    The Power of Prayer

    There are a number of ways you can pray for a foster child and his foster family. You can begin praying for the child even before he or she is placed into his foster home, praying that the transition is as smooth and as comfortable as possible. Prayer teams can pray for the specific needs of the child, and for any obstacles or hurdles that he or she might have in front of them. You can also keep the foster family lifted up in prayer, as well, asking that they receive the strength, wisdom, and compassion they need as they minister to their foster child.

    Our goal at Elks Aidmore is to“heal hearts, restore hopes, and rebuild lives”. We can do that by fulfilling our promises and oaths to help complete and perfect, to help exonerate and heal these hurting children of God.

    Ready to help? Contact one of our offices listed below to get more information.

    2394 Morrison Road, Conyers GA 30094   770-483-3535

    105 N. Pentz Street, Dalton GA 30720   706-529-9830

    132 Stephenson Avenue, Suite 102, Savannah GA 31405  912-200-3685

    300 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta GA  31605   229-244-3020

     

    Information adapted from an article published by John DeGarmo, founder and director of The Foster Care Institute