A Birthday to RememberRich Stigall
Yesterday in downtown Kansas City, we celebrate CarePortal’s birthday. This milestone is a gathering of the local churches, child welfare workers, and CarePortal staff who are collaborating to bring about change in the lives of local families. As part of the birthday, we remember the more than 2,000 children who have been impacted by CarePortal since March 2015. We are grateful for each child who has been helped. Each one was worth the effort.
This commemoration also serves as a catalyst for continued work. We pray that today’s gathering will create a greater sense of community among the involved parties, allowing for a deeper sense of trust and respect for those engaging with the child welfare system. Through these new and renewed relationships, we hope that the picture of community enabled by technology can be realized.
However, as we celebrate CarePortal’s birthday, we are reminded of those in the foster care system who must face a unique complexity associated with a birthday. Reminders of detachment from the biological family unit can represent a point of discouragement. For one boy in North Carolina, he was facing that exact scenario.
The boy, an eleven-year-old who is free for adoption and is currently living in group care, had earned a day pass for his birthday due to good behavior. The social worker, noting the boy’s good behavior in a CarePortal request, commented, “A gift card to Dave and Buster’s would enhance this child’s self-esteem and reward him for his good behavior.” Who would dare to give this child a self-esteem boost by purchasing a gift card for him?
THE CHURCH, of course! Noting the importance of something as simple as a gift card, The Cove Church in North Carolina provided not only a gift card but an additional birthday present. The day also presented an opportunity to capture some nice photos of the boy for his adoption profile. The response was more than a gift card: it was a reminder to the boy that he has not been forgotten. That he matters. A special day, indeed.
We hope that there were lots of smiles and laughter that day at Dave and Buster’s. Perhaps this small gift was the simple encouragement the boy needed to continue his good behavior and his hope for a permanent family. It didn’t take much: just the decision to accept an email and to respond to the need.
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