Hilton North Raleigh Midtown sponsors Football Kickoff Dunk-a-thon for Raleigh FCCP Office
The weather was hot and sunny on Saturday, September 10th. It was a perfect day for a picnic and games. The Hilton North Raleigh was the place, and raising money for KidsPeace was the goal of the day. The staff and patrons of the Hilton came out to eat hamburgers and hotdogs and to throw a few balls to dunk Hilton staff. Kids got into the game, and a couple of 10 year olds proved to be champions at hitting the mark to dunk their favorite staff member. Face painting, ring toss, corn hole and a putt putt challenge made the day complete. Lauren Taylor, Assistant Food and Beverage Manager organized the event and sought donations from the community to help make the day a success. The Hilton presented KidsPeace Raleigh Foster Care Children’s Fund with a donation of $700.00. Thank you to the staff and families of the Hilton!
Fayetteville, NC, Foster Care
Family Research Specialist Jodi Cook from Fayetteville and Family Resource Specialist Terri Leffard attended the Turkey Festival in Raeford (Hoke county) on September 17. The event was to draw in interested/prospective foster parents as well as provide information on TeenCentral.Net and ParentCentral.Net, as well as KidsPeace. While there, these associates were visited by previous foster parents, some current foster parents and children in care. The pair handed out several business cards to interested parents and other organizations with which KidsPeace Foster Care may be able to partner with in the future.
Program Manager Brian Rixon and Family Resource Specialist Teri Leffard attended the Bush Hill Heritage Festival on September 10, 2011. The Archdale-Trinity Chamber of Commerce in Archdale, NC (Randolph County), sponsors this event every year. We received sponsorship from Amerizon/Motorola Wireless to have a booth at this event to market for KidsPeace. We provided several TeenCentral.Net cards, business cards and information about KidsPeace. KidsPeace Foster Care of Aberdeen, NC, had never before attended this event which typically draws around 25,000 people. There was food, sales of handmade items, children's organizations, churches and local ministries dedicated to providing goods and services to the community free of charge. This event provided FCCP with the critical connection with other organizations that have a mission similar to ours, and Brian and Teri established good solid contacts with which they hope to partner in the future for volunteer opportunities.
Raleigh FCCP KidsDay 2011
The families, kids and staff of the Raleigh FCCP Office celebrated National KidsDay on Tuesday August 16, 2011. Everyone met at The Alley on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh for bowling, pizza and fellowship. More than 50 parents, kids and staff attended. The teens crowded in one corner and challenged one another to see who could get the most strikes in a game. Many of the families showed their competitive side by challenging one another to some friendly bowling competition. Even the little ones got into it and were able to bowl thanks to lane bumpers and the work of the staff at The Alley. At the end of the night, drawings were held, and several kids went home with backpacks full of school supplies, Wal-Mart Gift Cards, a K&W Cafeteria Gift Card, iTunes gift cards, candy and balloons. Special thanks goes out to Bob MacRae of the Hess Corporation, Terri and Ron Britton and K&W Cafeterias for their donations to the evening. A big Thank You goes out to Jimmy Poole, owner of The Alley and all of his staff who made us feel welcome and made sure that we all had a great time!
Aberdeen, NC, Recognizes Foster Parents
By Teresa Leffard
On June 17, 2011, the Aberdeen, North Carolina, office celebrated May is Foster Care month with a special steak dinner and awards ceremony. The event awarded foster parents for the challenging work they do, as well as their recognized achievements. Among the recognitions were participation with the program’s trainings and supervision calls. Others were given certificates for more humorous incidents or for significant things that the family consultant consistently observed. This location received many in-kind donations from the local community that ranged from a free sandwich to theme park tickets. These surprise donations were attached to the underside of each chair and later revealed.
Sponsorship for the dinner came from three local area restaurants that believe in KidsPeace’s mission. The close of dinner came after a final drawing of raffle tickets for various prizes. The special donations received assisted in providing a memorable event for all involved. Our office had many appreciative foster parents who truly enjoyed the event and are looking forward to the next event.
Home at Last
By Brian Rixon & Staff, KidsPeace FCCP, Fayetteville, NC
It all started a little over three years ago when this young 8 year-old came to KidsPeace with his then guardians, needing some help because he was dealing with a lot of loss in his life and trauma after trauma. Can you picture a scrawny yet quiet and very energetic little 8 year-old? He was lacking in confidence and had great difficulty expressing his feelings. He had done, seen and experienced things by his 8th birthday that not even the greatest of warriors would ever be prepared for.
Jimmy* would quickly become liked by many due to his friendly and boyish conversations about school, playing, scouts, and other daredevil adventures that every little boy takes. I would quickly take notable interest at every visit because his teacher would give them a brown bag of snacks every Friday to take home from school. It included every kid’s’ dream from various candies to apples to Debbie snack cakes. He would carry that bag around everywhere with a tighter grip on it than you or I would have hanging from a pull up bar at the gym. Nonetheless, Jimmy would never fail to ask you if you wanted something from his bag.
Like all people, Jimmy had his share of risk factors and protective factors in his life. Unfortunately, early on in life, he had been dealt a hard blow, and his many risk factors readily outnumbered the protective ones. Due to great strains at his previous home, he was quickly placed in the home of Larry and Juanita. For Jimmy, this was just another move. You could tell immediately that he was no stranger to moves due to his unconcerned voice tone when saying, “Is this going to be my new home?” Little did Jimmy or anyone else know that this would be his final move and a good one at that.
The couple immediately took Jimmy into their home and welcomed him into the family. In the beginning, Jimmy and his foster family had their fair share of ups and downs while getting used to each other, finding out how best to help Jimmy and working through their different ways of approaching life. From the very start, the couple demonstrated one of the most critical tools to this addition, COMMITMENT! Needless to say, they had their opportunities when most would throw in the towel because it was too hard. They didn’t. They kept asking questions, trying, asking questions, and trying some more until there was some hope on the horizon. Soon, this dedication would lead to easier days, stabilization of needs and a much better adaptation of Jimmy into the family. It is very interesting to observe the many ways people can tell how connected a family is. I particularly find it interesting to listen and watch closely how a child and family identify with each other; by use of names for each other, the outlook towards the world in relation to them and the family, the family decision-making that takes place and many other processes that can change as a family evolves. The way this family evolved was just beautiful.
Early in Jimmy’s relationship with KidsPeace, his previous guardians decided that they couldn’t care for him the way they thought they could and moved several states away. It was some time after this loss that you could begin to see Jimmy and Larry and Juanita draw closer. Not too long afterward, we started to hear that the couple was considering adopting Jimmy. Now, a year or more later after considering and working towards adoption and 3 years from when we first met Jimmy, it is all coming to a new beginning for him. He finally has the foundation and security that has never been there before. He finally has people to trust and rely on in good times and in bad. He finally has people to witness to the importance and great potential of his existence. He now has an identity to build from. He now feel’s safety and love more than ever. He now has someone to teach him all the necessary skills crucial to living the good life.
Jimmy and his family are excited for what is to come. In a small town outside of Fayetteville, NC, Jimmy is now home at last. Congratulations Jimmy & Family.
Fayetteville Foster Care Pitches in for the Community
By Brian Rixon Program Manager
The Fayetteville, NC, FCCP office assisted Cumulus Broadcasting, a network of radio stations, with their fall "Fayetteville's Largest Yard Sale" event. KidsPeace provided food and drinks donated by local companies such as Panera Bread, Wendy's and all members from our Board of Associates. The event brought in $482.39 and many happy smiles from the more than 50 private vendors and hundreds of shoppers. This event also led to contact with a couple locals interested in possibly becoming therapeutic foster parents, as well as volunteering for the local office. Cumulus Broadcasting has teamed up with Fayetteville's KidsPeace on several occasions and continues to help raise awareness to our mission and programs.
Foster Care Durham/Chapel Hill, NC
The Durham-Chapel Hill FCCP KidsPeace Office (NC) held a delayed Kid’s Day Celebration on Saturday, September 17, 2011. A great time was had by our children and families, community members and by the KidsPeace staff. This event included food, fun and activities for all (i.e., various games, prize drawings, etc.). Despite the rainy weather, KidsPeace State Manager Tom Culver led an exciting outdoor game of baseball. An informational session was also held for community members desiring to know more about becoming KidsPeace Therapeutic Foster Parents. All FCCP office associates were grateful for the opportunity to partner with The Durham Teen Center (City of Durham), which so graciously hosted the location for the celebration. This partnership was made possible by veteran KidsPeace Foster Parent Evelyn Scott. Ms. Scott manages The Durham Teen Center through her position in the City of Durham’s Office on Youth (a division of the City of Durham Manager’s Office). Additionally, local Durham teens volunteered their time to assist with facilitating the day’s activities.