Local teens step up to give foster kids a voice
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Foster the Fun is tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for foster kids and their families. It is a free event open to ages 9 to 18 at the O.C. Carmichael Jr. Youth Center. The Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County is a place for youth to connect, cultivate friendships and have the support of positive role models. Foster the Fun is an effort to reach out to more members and even nonmembers in the foster care system.
The evening will be filled with music, dancing, food, games and prizes. However, it really is an effort to extend the invitation to kids in the community to come be a part of the club. Still, the most special part? It was an idea from a Keystone member who is in foster care. Unit director, Ashley Williams, says seeing these kids step up to make a difference has been the best part.
“It has been inspirational because you see a lot of kids who do not have anything to do and they tell you they want to do a certain thing and they never put forth the effort, but to see them put forth the effort makes us want to go even further and above and beyond for them,” says Williams.
The Keystone Club is a group of young leaders within the Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County. 9% of the Boys and Girls Club members are in foster care, including Blake. As a member of Keystone, Blake felt a call to give voice to foster kids. He, alongside his fellow club members, are hopeful a night focused on foster kids and their families will encourage more involvement in the club, and give these kids another home to be a part of.
“I am a foster kid right now and when I came into foster care I had nothing, I only had the clothes on my back and my backpack I was taken straight out of school, it has been rough so I want this night of fun for these kids because I know what they are going through,” says Blake.
“Having more kids come together as one and speaking up makes more of a difference because grown ups might not listen but when we come together as one it makes a difference,” says Vice President of Keystone, Vivi.
Further information about BGCSJC can be found here.