I'm watching the nightly news as I write this post. I'm two minutes in and have so far heard about a death from Swine Flu in New York, a shooting in Cincinnati's Northside and a church burglarized. I don't know about you, but I've been trying to focus more on good things than bad. Note to self: chronic news watching makes it hard to focus on good.
So to keep my promise about giving you good news with the bad news on foster care, I'd like you to know about something called Every Child's Hope. I even like the name. You don't hear the word 'hope' associated with foster care very often.
Following the death of murdered foster child Marcus Fiesel nearly three years ago, a group of churches came together to begin discussing how the church could respond to the needs of children in foster care. To date, over two dozen churches have joined Every Child's Hope Coalition of Care for Foster Children. The goal: to build community around foster children and families. An upcoming weekend event sponsored by Every Child's Hope features keynote speakers and information sessions all aimed at educating the community on the needs of foster kids and engaging people by offering a number of volunteer opportunities to assist them.
I have long believed that the answers to problems facing these kids will be found in the larger community around them, not necessarily the government system charged with their oversight. The Coalition of Care has so many resources to offer the government system in caring for vulnerable children. As a "system" person, spending most of my time working with government agencies and the court, I know better than anyone about separation of church and state and how careful we must be to honor that. But there is something to be said for community, faith-based or not. And my feeling is, if you have something to offer our children, by all means, step up. The Coalition is doing just that.
And that really is Good News.