There are almost 5,000 kids in Arkansas’ foster care system today and huge demand for more foster families. The Walk for the Waiting Family Fun Walk Fundraiser, to be held April 28th at War Memorial Stadium, aims to bring attention to these needs, especially the needs of foster kids waiting for adoption. The event website (https://www.walkforthewaiting.org) states that, “because of the shortage of families, nearly 200 teens will ‘age out’ of the system this year and enter into adulthood without having found a family to support and encourage them.”
The Walk for the Waiting is put on by three foster care non-profits, The CALL, Immerse Arkansas, and Project Zero, with the help of corporate sponsors like David’s Burgers, and support from local churches like St. Andrews, Fellowship Bible, Little Rock Church, Grace Church, Summit Church, and Mosaic Church.
Last year, the event raised $265,000 to support the non-profits’ work to care for children needing families. Eric Gilmore, the Executive Director for Immerse Arkansas, says of the event, “In addition to being a tremendous financial help to caring for youth in crisis, the Walk helps recruit mentors, families, and volunteers as we work together to make sure every child in Arkansas has a family.” Through the work of these non-profits, many families in Arkansas have found the joy of welcoming children in foster care into their families. One foster care success story is the Cason family, who grew from two kids to four kids—ages six and under—overnight! They fostered two girls for 16 months before taking them to their “forever home” in December 2017.
The Harris family talks about their experience with foster care as a ministry, through which God helps them “to reach out and help these families, pour love into them, support them (within DCFS boundaries), and cheer them on as they get up and back on their feet to work to get their kids back.” Over the past 8 years, they have fostered 15 children and adopted five. More beautiful stories of foster care success are told on the Walk for the Waiting Blog: https://walkforthewaitingblog.wordpress.com/.
Those interested in participating in the Walk for the Waiting Event can learn more at the event website: https://www.walkforthewaiting.org/. Jourdan Williams, chair of the upcoming Walk for the Waiting Event, says “I can’t wait to see families from all over the state come out to support these organizations and kids. The CALL, Project Zero and Immerse Arkansas pour their whole hearts into these kids, and this is a great time to rally around those children and their families and support them in whatever they need.”