I chose to volunteer with The CALL because I believe God wants us to be made aware of issues that are too big for us to handle on our own. I first was made aware of the need for foster families through The CALL speaking at a women’s event at my church. We need to care, and I think The CALL gave me a great venue to do that in my area. Each year that I attend the Restoring Hope banquet I am reminded of why I continue to serve with The CALL of Crawford and Sebastian Counties.
The Grace Community venue and decorations handmade by various volunteers were beautiful A custom video designed by Branchout Studios, the personal testimony of a college student who once was in care, and the thoughts of a foster Mom who has benefited from The CALL supporting them through their journey helped set up reasons why attendees should choose to donate. While words were intentional, little known was the amount of thought that went into the design and decoration of the event. Gentry Duncan, owner of Sockdolager Events, Emily Treadaway, County Coordinator, and several volunteers spent late hours Wednesday preparing the event space.
One thing I loved about the decorations is while they were beautiful, they were also intentional. While the rocks were beautiful accent pieces, the goal was not just beauty. During the program they were used to make us realize that together we can make a difference in a child’s life by helping provide support for those who love them. Each table had cups and the cups had names of children on them. No matter the intentions of the Foster Family, Foster care and entry into the system can be scary. As an adult I don’t like change, imagine being a young child leaving all that is familiar.
Hannah Bush, Financial Coordinator and member of the local Advisory Council, went through a series of ways you can help both big and small. For example, what I do is relatively small but it is still a rock in the cup to support a foster family and ultimately the child in care. I join the team in gathering items for the silent auction which helps provide more funds to support our goal of mobilizing area churches to recruit, train and support foster families in our community. As Hannah continued to mention things you can do to help, it was obvious at our table that there was something we could all do causing the water in our cup to reach to the top.
The top in the illustration is glorifying God by His people (the church) working together to support those providing safe loving homes to children and in many cases being the ones opening their homes. Homes where the child can continue to flourish and grow, rather it be forever or a temporary situation. Next, the balloons, while they added dimension to the room, they also had children and stories attached to them that people could read. Guests were encouraged to take a balloon home and pray for children in care. Last but not least the triangular structures on the table. While geometric is definitely trending right now, we also know triangles are said to be the strongest shape, we are a community who knows that good things come in threes. First and foremost- we worship the triune God- one God yet three persons: the Father, son, and Holy Spirit!
Secondly we see many great relationships that come in threes, the Church, the Foster Family (child), and The CALL, also The CALL, DCFS, and the Foster Family (child), and lastly, the child, the foster family, and the biological family. We do not discount the original family structure – we pray for our bio families and our foster families are trained to consider that reunification, if possible, is a top desire.
While you may not be ready to foster, you may be able to help in other ways! Reach out to Emily at The CALL in Crawford and Sebastian Counties to find out more ways you can serve!
-Chelsea Sheffield, Event Coordinator