Thursday, May 1, 2014
May Is National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month. When we hear this, we often just ignore it the way we ignore other national months such as National Poetry Month. "That's for someone else," we might think dismissively. But it's not. As followers of Christ, we are repeatedly commanded throughout the Bible to take care of the fatherless. God wants us to take care of them, not just pray for them.
Every year the number of kids in the foster care system increases while the number of licensed foster care homes declines. As Christians, what does this say about us? Do we believe that Jesus just meant that other followers were to take care of the orphans and not us? Like some many, do we pass it off as somebody else's problem? There are no free pass cards. Christ does not allow for excuses. He is explicit in telling us to do unto the least of these, which includes kids in the foster care system. So either we don't believe Him or we just don't care. It's that simple.
When one sees the statistics on what happens to kids in the foster care system, it not only breaks the Father's heart, but should ours as well. But that's not enough, as we need to move from distant empathy to being the hands and feet of Christ to take care of this need. These are children to be loved, not problems to be fixed.
Not everyone is called to be a foster parent, but there are so many other ways you can become involved.
What are they?
1. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer
2. Provide Respite Foster Care
3. Serve as a Guardian for a child or youth in the foster care system
7. Volunteer on a local foster care review board
8. Transport children for sibling visitations
9. Transport families and children to court hearings
10. Transport families and children to medical appointments
11. Mentor a child
12. Tutor a child or youth in foster care
13. Help a youth prepare for SAT or ACT
14. Provide after-school care for a foster family
15. Volunteer to serve as an Education Advocate for those foster kids receiving special education services
16. Get your church involved with helping to provide basic needs (clothing), school supplies, or toys for kids in foster care.
17. Prepare a meal for a foster family.
18. Pay a foster kid's extra-curricular fees
19. Provide a prom dress or tuxedo
20. Donate to local organizations that help out foster kids in your area (an example is Least of These. Their link is http://www.leastofthesegaston.org/)
21. Donate diapers, formula, or other infant and toddler items
These are just a few of the many ways you can become involved. Since it is National Foster Care Month, pray about where God leads you, but please do more than prayer because these children need so much more.
God has called us to offer ourselves, not our excuses.
Become involved today!