There are many of us who were blessed with the basic needs of food, shelter, and even care from a loved one. It’s easy to take things like that for granted until we realize that there are also some of us who struggled through childhood to get those basic needs met. As bleak as it is, more than five children die every day from abuse and neglect, and 80% of these children are under the age of four. Heartbreaking. 33% of children who grow in these poor environments are exposed to this behavior, and later return the abuse to their own children as adults. It’s an unfortunate cycle that tends to continue despite the pain it causes. But there is hope and one Texas organization is leading the charge.
A World for Children has been serving for 20 years to fight on behalf of children who have fallen victim to abuse and neglect. With offices in major Texas cities such as Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston and El Paso, they strive to place these children in the care of foster parents who provide the love and care they’ve so desperately have been needing. Since their start of humble beginnings, the Lord has entrusted the organization with almost 12,000 children as they’ve seen a blessing of growth and support for their cause. One of the main goals of A World for Children is to connect people who have a heart for fostering with youth who are desperately seeking hope from their current condition.
Director Keri Cooper shared her personal foster story with us. She and her husband had received a phone call informing them at they had not one foster child, but two selected for them. Both children were under two years old. “No. That’s too much,” Cooper said. “I can’t do that.” And while anyone could see that the task would be daunting at times, her biological daughter was on board for the new adventure. She was even willing to cancel her own birthday party that day so that she could go help pick up her new siblings. Things were falling into place but before Keri would accept, she wanted to get approval from her first foster child. After picking her foster daughter up from soccer camp, Cooper had asked the five-year-old her thoughts on her potential siblings. “That would be great! Can I hold one?” She asked. “We’ll have to go home and pray about it,” Cooper replied.
On their way home, Cooper’s daughter asked her mother, “Mama, do you know how big God is?” To which Cooper replied, “Yes, I do.” The five-year-old asked again before stating, “God is SO big. He is like up to the sky big! Did you know that?” This continued throughout the car ride until they reached their home. Once inside, Cooper’s foster daughter rushed to the stairs, knelt and prayed. After a few moments, she perked up and said, “God says it’s okay!” That was enough for the Cooper’s to accept the two new foster children into their family. Timing was perfect and everything worked out just the way it needed to. Turns out they were even a big hit at the birthday party.
What Keri wants to point out is that quite often all you hear about the foster care system surrounding these children are the heart breaking circumstances that lead them there. What gets most overlooked is the good news with those who receive that care — they often graduate and go off to college. You see many build a deep relationship with their foster parents and some even find their forever parents! There are even foster care recipients that grow up out of the system and end up fostering their own family. Beautifully redemptive stories can grow from the efforts of organizations like A World for Children.
You can get involved by participating in our e-auction launching May 1st at www.spirit1059auction.com. Proceeds will go towards powering their efforts to support Central Texas with their services.