[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 57°F  
High: 68°F ~ Low: 51°F
Monday, May 2, 2016

Fundraiser pays off for foster children

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

President Gary Phillips (far left) and other members of the Foster Parent's Association accept a check from Salem Modern Woodmen owner, Donnie Lance (far right). The association and financial services company teamed up to raise $2,329 with a Homecoming festival concession stand. Modern Woodmen added a $2,000 match. The money will be used to meet the needs of area foster children. Photo by Richard Irby
More than 100 area children are going to benefit from a partnership between their foster parents and the Salem Modern Woodmen of America, financial services company.

On June 20, Donnie and Karen Lance, of the Salem office, presented a check for $4,329 to the Foster Parent Association of Fulton, Izard and Sharp Counties.

During the Fulton County Homecoming Festival, over Memorial Day weekend, the foster parent group ran a concession stand on the town square.

Modern Woodmen, which recruited some of its members to help out, offered to match the amount the Foster Parent Association raised at the concession stand, up to $2,000.

"We are allocated $2,500 a year for community projects and try to partner with organizations that help children or older folks," said Lance.

Foster children are youth who have been removed from their homes by the courts because of abuse, neglect or other safety concerns.

"This money will help us meet some of the extra needs that our kids have," said Vicki Bynum of Viola, who takes care of five foster children.

While state funds pay for the daily care of foster children, money is often tight for "extras," including clothing, back to school supplies and overnight bags, which foster children need when they go for family visitation.

"Providing day to day necessities is always a stuggle, so the money we raised will help," said Lee Ellis, a foster mother from Salem

In addition to the money raised and matched, the Foster Parents Association still hopes to fund a summer treat for their kids, like a trip to an amusement park.

The Foster Parent Association is a support group which brings parents and children together each month for fellowship and to allow foster parents to discuss common problems and how to deal with the physical and emotional needs of each child.

"At any given time there are 100 to 120 children in foster care in the three county area," said Foster Parent Association President Gary Phillips. "We currently have only 22 families taking children in."

Phillips said more families are needed across Arkansas to join the effort to help foster children.

"We always have a need for new foster parents. For a variety of reasons, some families decide to stop participating in foster care," said Phillips. "Some families who eventually adopt their foster children reduce their involvement."

The Call in Arkansas offers information on how to become a foster parent. It can be found online at: thecallinarkansas.org.

The Salem Modern Woodmen office presented its matching check during its monthly dinner for Woodmen members. With foster parents and children present, the Southfork Restaurant was filled with energy.

"It is great to see foster kids getting so much attention and so many people interested in their welfare," said Lance.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on areawidenews.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

What a beautiful story. It is wonderful that awareness is at a point that those who are not foster parents or connected with them directly, realize how much support and help these families and children need. Thank you. Dr. Gopal


-- Posted by DrGopal on Wed, Jun 29, 2011, at 2:29 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: