Viewing entries tagged
foster care

Kevin's day off

Kevin's day off

IMG_20150818_144800.jpg

IMG_20150818_144800

Monday marked the first day of school for our children… well, everyone except Kevin. Kevin was thrilled to have the whole big house and all of the houseparents’ attention to himself today. He said that he woke up later than everyone else – and it “ROCKED!”

Later, he took his two new favorite toys, Batman and Spiderman, and the three of them played a rousing game of pick-up basketball (it was a close game, but Kevin made a last-second three point shot to win against the plastic figurines).

After basketball, Kevin went on an adventure with the houseparents; getting him registered for school. As he walked up to the elementary school he was nervous; starting a new school year is never easy. After getting the paperwork filled out Kevin wanted to meet his new teacher. Although he can’t remember her name, he said, “She seems really nice. I’m excited about fourth grade even if I’m going to have to learn multiplication!” He was starting to feel better about starting school when he heard a familiar voice. Darting down the hall and around a corner he saw his favorite substitute teacher!

On their way home from running errands he asked if he could get his favorite lunch, McDonalds and chocolate milk! He ate lunch with some staff members, something he doesn’t normally get to do when all the kids are home. He expressed a little apprehension about having to take timed multiplication tests, but quickly talked himself out of it when he realized how smart he would be once he mastered multiplication.

Though he was excited to get back to school to see his friends, what was even more exciting was that this afternoon, he got to pick whatever channel he wanted on TV. Unrestricted by “all those girls” to choose a suitable movie, Kevin was able to kick back and watch Cars, and took up as much room on the couch as he wanted. As Cars came to its denouement, Kevin realized he had done everything he had wanted to do in his day off. Luckily, just then, the van with the other kids pulled into the driveway and they came barreling into the house, wide-ruled notebooks and #2 pencils flying.

Kevin loved the peace and quiet of the morning, but by the end of the day he was thankful for the usual hustle, bustle and chatter. He was thrilled to have the other kids back around – those he has come to consider his family – so he could hear their stories of new classrooms, new teachers and old friends on the playground. By the end of the school day, Kevin couldn’t wait to begin his own school journey tomorrow (even if he does have to learn multiplication). We wish for you and yours the same that we wish for all our children – a happy and healthy start to the school year! We can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

October 23 - Update - WE DID IT! We hit our $1 million goal! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to make our dreams come true. Soon we can expand and be able to serve and help more children and teens.
Check out the story here on Cola Daily: http://bit.ly/1HED3YH
And while we've hit our goal, we are still raising money! We know construction will cost more than a million so we will just keep on going! You can help us reduce any loan debt we'd have to take on. Here's how you can donate: http://palmettoplaceshelter.org/donate/?
Check out the news stories by WLTX and WIS on our campaign!
Midlands Shelter to Take in More Homeless, Abused Kids (WLTX)

Watch WIS's story, Palmetto Place to Expand, Making Room for More Abused, Neglected Children, here!

ea35a75ce94d2e562985ff9c3cede0f1
Since 1977, more than 7,000 kids of all ages have come through our front door. And now it's time to welcome even more kids into our home. It's time for us to grow - and we need your help.

Children like Anthony and Hailey don’t often have heroes. You may think their tragic story couldn’t happen here in the Midlands, but it did. Fortunately, YOU can be a hero!

When police entered their house, the first thing they noticed was the garbage piled high. Needles and other drug paraphernalia on a torn sofa. Anthony and Hailey were huddled together in a corner—no parent was in sight.

At Palmetto Place, Anthony and Hailey found a safe, nurturing home filled with love. Counseling helped them cope, and mentors helped them catch up in school and succeed.

But last month alone, we had to turn away 20 children in need. We just didn’t have the space. You can change that. You can be the hero children like Anthony and Hailey desperately need.

Palmetto Place’s Saving More Children campaign will renovate and expand Palmetto Place. Your gift will increase our number of beds by 50% and save more children from despair. Today, you can impact generations to come. Every day, we are getting closer to our $1 million goal to fund construction costs. Generous individuals and organizations in the Midlands have already given more than $900,000!

Will you to join them—to say “I’m here to help you” to the most vulnerable children right here in the Midlands?

You can give online at www.PalmettoPlaceShelter.org/donate (choose Saving More Children under Gift Type), or mail a check to Palmetto Place at PO Box 3395, Columbia, SC 29230.

Will you join us in Saving More Children and making changes that will last a lifetime?

We're excited to be working with The Winkler Group, Lambert Architecture, Hood Construction and GMK Associates on this capital campaign, expansion and renovation. We'll be sharing more details soon so be sure to check out this page plus Facebook and Twitter.

Hood-Horiz-Logo_only_RGBLambert

My Favorite Firecracker

My Favorite Firecracker

Sisters_small-1.jpg

Kayleigh Medina was a volunteer at Palmetto Place in the spring of 2015. These are her reflections on her time with our kids:

Hands

 

For the past semester, I’ve been volunteering at a local children’s shelter. At first, I was only going with the intentions of getting my 15 community service hours for one of my classes. The first time I went, I was terrified. I love kids, but I found every reason to complain about taking time out of my week to hang out with kids that might not even like me. Boy, was I wrong. Here I am, in tears at the end of the semester because I won’t get to see any of them for 3 months, and I might not see some of them ever again.

The first time I went to Palmetto Place, I was scared, skeptical, and hesitant. I thought the kids were going to make fun of me, distrust me, and want nothing to do with me. I quickly realized that this was not true at all. Yes, they were sassy and defensive – but can you blame them? Many of them have already had to fend for themselves considerably during their relatively short lives.

Out of all of the children I have met here, one special three year-old girl has impacted me the most. She is an absolute firecracker. I met her the second time I volunteered here. She latched right on to me, and we became buddies. Later that day, she fell into a bad mood, and decided that she didn’t want to share with any of us. I held her still for a minute and asked, “Do you know why I am here?” She shook her head, “No.” I replied, “I am here to play with you and to be your friend. Do you want to be my friend?” She nodded her head with an excited “Yes!” I prompted her, “Well, friends share with each other, love each other, and are kind to each other – think you can handle that?” I watched her consider my request for approximately thirty seconds, and then I watched her completely refute my advice (three year-olds and logic don’t always mesh well). I left that day, knowing that I learned something big, and hoping that this little girl did too.

I returned the next week, and immediately felt someone tugging at my shirt (and, of course, my heart). I looked down and (who would have guessed it?) it was that same little girl. She excitedly declared “I’m not going to do what I did last time because I want to be your friend.” This was huge, coming from a three year-old. It took me only that moment to realize that I wasn’t here just to sign off on a few service hours and leave. I was there for children like her. I was there because I am passionate about these special children and this special place. I wasn’t assigned to Palmetto Place. I went there, and I continued to go, because I felt like I was able to make an impact on these children.

I now go to Palmetto Place every Thursday, and it is honestly the highlight of my week. I get excited just walking into that door and hanging out with these kids once a week. They break my heart and mend it back together all at the same time. Thinking about what these kids have already gone through in their lives tears me apart. Why should innocent children have to suffer from situations that aren’t in their control whatsoever? When I think about the home that these children and youth might be coming from, and the home that they might have to return to, I am so thankful for their temporary home at Palmetto Place. Without non-profit homes and shelters like Palmetto Place, these children could have ended up in mass orphanages, or in unsteady, and often unsafe, home environments.

My time serving at the shelter this past semester is something that I will never forget. These kids will remain in my heart and my prayers for a long time. The hope that I see in their eyes, despite everything they have been through, is beautiful to me. These children have every right to feel disparaged by, and distrustful of, the world, yet they placed their trust right in the palm of my hand. Here at Palmetto Place, I get to help kids realize their full potential in life, and teach them that they aren’t defined by their starting points in life, but by how far they come.

Comment

Forever Home

Note: Today's blog post is from a special guest, Ms. Tori Sizemore, Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2013. In the mind of every child is a dream; the one thing that towers above every other desire and expectation. Such fantasies are rarely forgotten or achieved.

My childhood dream- my heartfelt prayer- was to have a baby sister. Three brothers later, I accepted my life as the only girl, though my dream of a sister never faded. After years of prodding, my parents surprised me by exploring adoption. We were unprepared when we received a call from an attorney at nine o'clock in the morning.  A young woman who lived on the streets was giving up custody of her ten month old biracial baby girl that very morning. Little Sarah Ann needed a home that day. In a haze of shock and ecstasy, we went to pick up the little girl and by three o'clock that afternoon, I held in my arms the living, breathing answer to countless prayers.

The miracles continued, as fears like financial stability, legal complications and racial prejudice melted away. We knew Sarah belonged in our family, especially when we discovered my father, who is a pediatrician, had cared for her as a newborn. Ironically enough, our story continued when two years later, my father cared for twin biracial girls. The frail babies left the hospital and entered the foster system. We couldn't explain why, but my family knew we needed to care for them. Our family was too large too foster the twins, so the only other option required a court order. Many considered our case impossible, but after six challenging weeks and a miracle or two, we brought home Lexi and Leah as their foster-to-adopt family. The prayers I made during my mother's pregnancies each came to fruition; one curly haired princess for every wonderfully wild brother. I am reminded daily of the blessings of adoption: our family is complete and Sarah Ann, Lexi, and Leah are safe, cared for, and loved in their Forever Home.

I believe every child deserves the sense of security and love from a permanent family. It breaks my heart that over 4,000 children in South Carolina do not experience the enduring love they need. Children sit in foster care waiting for permanency because few people know how best to help them. That is why I created the program Forever Home. This program is designed to Educate, Inspire, and Equip people to change lives through adoption and re-unification. My life has been greatly shaped by adoption and as Miss South Carolina Teen, I desire to shape the hearts, minds and lives of the future. Adoption embraces the truths of equality, acceptance, and unconditional love that the next generation is seeking and it can transform the future of American families. My goal and desire is to see the next generation united to create a Forever Home for every child. The issue of adoption and unification awareness is a very personal, powerful message and it needs to reach as many ears as possible. I know that the Lord put me on the road to Miss South Carolina Teen USA to Educate, Inspire, and Equip the entire state and the nation.

Every child has a dream. For many, it is simply to have a loving Forever Home. Let's make it a reality!

Visit me at: https://www.facebook.com/misssouthcarolinateenusa

Comment