Twenty years ago, I learned that when children enter the foster care system they were often separated from their brothers and sisters. I could not imagine that after enduring a childhood filled with abuse and neglect they would suffer a fate of losing their siblings during such a turbulent time. After visiting a group home campus for siblings in North Florida, my colleague Karla Nickell said, so now that we know that this is such a huge issue, how can we just turn our backs on this?
In 1996 we established Children’s Harbor as a 501(c)3. We had no campus and no money but we had passion, persistence, and a caring community.
Now in 2016, we are celebrating Children’s Harbor 20th Anniversary and I am one proud papa! The organization has grown into a top-notch, nationally accredited child welfare agency. Over the past two decades, Children’s Harbor has provided 3,800 families with in-home counseling, given 60 teen mothers a safe haven to raise their babies, and offered 250 foster care children a loving place to call home.
So if you are thinking about making a difference in your community or in the life of a child, I would tell you to open your heart and follow your passion. Don’t hesitate, you CAN make a difference, and I promise that you will get back more than you give.