Foundation Grant Award Helps Support Foster Families
Okefenoke REMC Foundation President Ruby Ann Sawyer recently celebrated a $2,500 grant awarded to the Brantley Chapter of Called to Care, Inc, by the OREMC Foundation for their beds and bedding program. Serving 22 counties in South Georgia, Called to Care’s mission is to educate and equip community partners and volunteers in order to meet the needs of vulnerable children in the foster care system.
While the grant was specifically to support the beds and bedding program—providing any child impacted by a Division of Family and Children Services investigation, intervention or transition with their very own bed—Ellen Herrin, director of the Called to Care Brantley Chapter, and Kylee Moore, social media manager, took the opportunity to underscore the needs locally. Currently there are 80 children in foster care in Brantley County, but only seven foster families. That means the majority of the children are placed with families outside the county separated from siblings, friends, school and church communities.
“It is traumatic for these children,” Herrin emphasizes. “While the goal is to keep siblings together, it doesn’t always work out that way based on the resources of the foster families. Being uprooted, sometimes repeatedly, and separated not knowing what’s happening or exactly where they are going next is beyond unsettling.”
Herrin would know . . . she herself grew up in the foster care system. However, she is also a testament to how one can overcome circumstances and thrive. That is why she is committed to Called to Care, helping to raise foster care awareness and support, adoption awareness, foster youth mentorship and apprenticeship, social worker support and trauma informed education.
She was also excited to talk about the new Resource Center located at Brantley County High School to support local foster families with additional bedding, clothing, comfort items and other essentials.
If you are interested in fostering, want to learn more about the foster care needs locally or other ways to get involved connect with Called to Care online at iamcalledtocare.com. For more information about the OREMC Foundation and grant opportunities, visit oremc.com/foundation.