by Nikki Partlow-Loyall
Over one thousand children in Pulaski County spend time in foster care every year, but only about 240 families care for them. This leaves hundreds of children without stable homes just waiting for someone to take them in. The CALL is a religious organization that aims to remedy that problem by working together with churches in Little Rock. Since its founding in 2007, the CALL has spread throughout Arkansas and, according to their website, “cared for over 10,000 children, and created forever families for over 800 children.” As Joe Snyder, the County Coordinator for the CALL, puts it “We believe that, before anyone else, the church was called to step up and provide families for these children and teenagers. This commission was given in the book of James, chapter 1, ‘True religion is this, to take care of the widow and orphan in their distress.’”
The CALL doesn’t just work in Pulaski County; they assist children and families all across the state of Arkansas. The CALL doesn’t believe they alone are the answer; they believe the Church is the answer. The CALL works together with local congregations to find families to foster and adopt foster children. Churches can promote the CALL to their congregations, support foster families within their communities, and help train and teach foster/adoptive parents.
Dozens of congregations across the county and the state have partnered with the CALL to help support foster children and foster families. One example in Little Rock is Gospel Temple Baptist Church. According to the Pastor of Gospel Temple Baptist Church, Dr. Kevin Daley, the church has “helped families navigate the process of adoption, fostering, and providing assistance to families in need who facilitate adoption.” Daley also stated “it is my pleasure to continue my association and involvement with the CALL.”
Coming up in May, the CALL, Immerse Arkansas, and Project Zero will be partnering up for the Walk for the Waiting. This is the 6th year of the event, and this year’s fundraising goal is $300,000. According to the Walk for the Waiting’s website (https://www.walkforthewaiting.org/), the money will go to support the partnering organizations’ efforts to “mobilize the Christian community”, “direct youth programs combined with support for families who foster or adopt”, and “help kids waiting to be adopted by raising awareness about the need.” The walk will be on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 at War Memorial Stadium. Registration opens at 8:45 and the opening ceremony is at 9:30. The post-walk celebration will be at 10:30, and at 11:30 there will be a food truck fellowship.
For more information about the CALL, visit their website at https://thecallinarkansas.org/. For more information about the Walk for the Waiting, visit their website at https://www.walkforthewaiting.org/.