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Giving children in foster care and families a reason to be forever thankful

Samaritas raises awareness to ongoing foster care crisis

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. The challenges of 2020, resulting from the global pandemic, are well-documented. As many across Michigan prepare to gather and celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones during this difficult year, Samaritas reminds everyone that now is the time to be forever thankful for family and friends – that families cannot take anything for granted when life is so precious. As the holidays approach, hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children in the U.S. foster care system, including 2,500 in Michigan, are awaiting the love of a forever family.

“Every child needs love, shelter and guidance,” said Sam Beals, CEO of Samaritas. “Unfortunately, these basic needs are missing for some children, and the older the child, the more dire the circumstances. To that end, more than 23,000 children age out of the U.S. foster care system every year, and of these children, less than 3 percent will earn a college degree and only half will have gainful employment by the age of 24. It should come as no surprise that the love of a forever family can make a life-changing impact on a child – be they an infant or a teenager.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted adoption services across the country, organizations dedicated to ensuring children receive the love and nurturing they so desperately need continue to work tirelessly to place children with loving families. Through its commitment to children in crisis, Samaritas has supported the placement of 223 foster care children with adoptive families in Michigan since the pandemic began.

“We’re asking families to open their hearts and homes for this life-changing experience. Parents often tell us how much they learn from the children that they adopt, and in the end, they’re the ones that are forever thankful,” Beals continued. “If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we must be there for one another – that we must step up to help those who need assistance. When challenges arise that result in children needing a foster family, we must pick up the mantle and provide what they need so that they can lead a healthy, productive life that is supported by community and a connection to others.”

In 2019, Samaritas, in partnership with Lutheran Adoption Service, worked with more than 290 families to place more than 390 children in adoptive homes across Michigan. For more information on adopting a child from foster care or how you can support vulnerable children in Michigan, please visit Samaritas.org/foster-care/adoption, or call 248-663-0697.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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