April 29, 2010

From foster care to adult in one day

Have you ever thought about what happens to young adults when they age out of foster care?  Did you realize that happens at the adult, but not yet quite mature age of 18?

After hearing a presentation from a foster children advocacy group, the Optimist Club of Meridian, Idaho is helping a teenager leave foster care and establish his own apartment.  What they require is so little: toaster, can opener, kitchen supplies and pantry staples, towels and bathroom goods, and cleaning supplies.  I'm sure that the Optimist Club will do more.

It has to be both an exciting and scary time for such young people.  Many have bounced from one foster home to another, changing schools and friends along the way.  Many look forward to the day they are emancipated; others wonder what is the next step.

I'm very touched by this act of kindness and feel there is so much more that an Optimist Club might do such as establish a weekly or monthly meal where the young people can meet with each other and share their experiences.  At the same time these young adults  might develop friendships with older adults and possibly choose mentors to help them transition into the next phase of their life.

We never know when the act of reaching out is most needed. Let's be prepared to give our hands freely.  Always.
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