Apr 272010

I love hope.  Love people who are hopeful.  Love stories that have a happy ending.  I want the guy to get the girl.  The dog to find its owner.  The foster kid to return home.  The orphan to get a family.  And for all of them to live happily ever after.

When I really think about how hope operates – how it changes lives – one thing becomes apparent. 

Hope requires action.

Action causes a perfectly comfortable family to open their door to foster kids.  Action moves a couple from hoping for a child to adopting a child.  Action moves a person to tutor or mentor or write the check or organize the party or the event, so that foster kids can have a shot at a better future than past.  Hope requires action. 

If you are in the mood for some action and live in the Oklahoma City area, take a look at www.fluxokc.wordpress.com or follow @fluxokc on twitter.  You can be part of celebrating the graduation of a foster kid.  If you are outside of OKC, call your local DHS/DCFS office and see if they need help throwing a party for their graduates.  Only 3 out of 5 foster kids make it through high school – we should make a big deal out of it! 


Feb 172010

I have this lamp that sits on the side table in my living room.  It puts off a soft, yellow light, and for many years it was the light that I left on at night to help me see in case I needed to get up and move around the house.  One day it quit working, and I assumed it needed a new light bulb.  Eventually I got around to changing the bulb, but it didn’t work.  I was sad – perhaps the lamp was broken.  I really liked that lamp.  In the middle of my sadness, my husband leaned over the end table and plugged it in – magic!  It, and its old bulb, worked just fine.

In case you didn’t notice, I love telling stories.  It is how I communicate.  As a story-teller, I can use language to help you understand the struggles of kids in foster care, and if I am really fortunate, I might even be able to stir up some emotion.  I’m glad – I would be worried about whether you were alive if you weren’t a little bit stirred.  But emotion will not change the lives of these kids.  It will not bring light to darkness – to do that, you have to plug in.  So today, I am going to tell you about an organization that is committed to foster kids, and it is a place you can get involved. 

Citizens Caring for Children was created in 1984 – it was the brain child of George and Rose Harper, a couple who had taken in foster kids.  As children moved through their home, the Harpers realized that while foster kids may come with some social or emotional baggage, they don’t come with any physical baggage.  In fact, some of them have only the clothes on their backs.  So, the Harpers decided to do something about it.  They enlisted the help of the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, OK and began providing basic necessities to foster kids – clothes, school supplies, etc.  Now, 26 years later, the organization is still going strong.  It is a quality place to pour your resources and your time, so if you are moved at all by the stories of foster kids, and you are looking for a way to help, Citizens Caring for Children is a place to start.