How The Gift Of Education Brightened A Foster Child’s Future
We recently shared the story of a young woman in foster care (we’ll call her “Sarah”) who needed financial help to afford supplies for her first year at college. With college graduation rates of former foster children much lower than the general population, we knew it was an opportunity to make a monumental impact on one student. Everyone at Fostering Christmas was thrilled when our community stepped up with donations worth $750 — enough to purchase all of Sarah’s dorm necessities.
Sarah’s foster mother, Evelyn, recently took a few moments to share her story with us and explain what your support meant to her family. Evelyn never intended to become a foster parent. But then, her daughter told her about a friend at school who needed help. Evelyn was hesitant at first but soon felt a calling in her heart. “I felt like God said, ‘You need her as much as she needs you,’” Evelyn remembers.
“Sometimes, we don’t get to be there in the moment and see the impact or experience the joy and relief it brings. But I can tell you that what you’re doing matters, and it’s changing lives.”
Sarah came to live with Evelyn’s family for the rest of her senior year of high school. “The experience taught me a lot about love,” Evelyn says, “and seeing [my foster daughter] open up to a stranger and finish her schooling in a safe place was really special.”
Regarding the support from Fostering Christmas, Evelyn notes the help was just as much a blessing to her as to Sarah. “I’ve never sent a child off to college,” she says. “So, it was a huge relief to me, not knowing what I was doing. It also gave me a lot of insight into what I’ll need to do for my daughter!”
Meanwhile, Sarah herself was incredibly touched by your donations. “She was so happy, like a little kid,” Evelyn remembers. “She kept going through everything and saying, ‘Look at this!’ She was very grateful, and it was wonderful to see her eyes light up.”
The supplies also had a more significant meaning to Sarah.
“There were so many anxieties about college,” Evelyn says. “With all the things she’s gone through, it was great for her not to have to worry about these things.”
“I will speak for us both in saying that I can’t thank the community enough,” she continues. “Sometimes, we don’t get to be there in the moment and see the impact or experience the joy and relief it brings. But I can tell you that what you’re doing matters, and it’s changing lives.”
Evelyn also wants to encourage others considering fostering to take the plunge. “If it’s in your heart and you’re wondering if this is for you, do it,” she says. “It can be intimidating, but there’s support and direction.”
“I will tell you I was not prepared,” she adds. “But I wouldn’t change the impact fostering made on myself and my family for the world.”