Celebrating the ‘Firsts’

Kaleb had been in foster care for more than 5 years when he was adopted at age 13.  He missed out on a lot of the ‘firsts’ that most kids experience while growing up such as participating in sports and birthday parties.  Kaleb shares below what a difference having a family made in his life:

“Being adopted has changed my life. It had given me the great feeling in the world. I finally have a group that supports me and loves me unconditionally. It means the world to me that they have taken me in and love me like their own. It’s almost like having a dream come true. When I was in foster care, I would want to leave and go somewhere else. But here, I know I never want to leave and I know I never have to leave. I know I won’t have to go from school to school so I can put more effort into my grades. I can have friends and build relationships with teachers and coaches. I can play sports now, and that’s something that I’ve never been able to do before. I’ve had so many firsts since being brought into my family. I had my first birthday party at the age of 13, experienced my first over night stay with friends, experienced my first basketball conference win, and go to my first homecoming.

I was headed down a dark path before i met Mom and Dad. If I hadn’t been adopted I know that I would be on the streets somewhere, probably selling drugs or addicted to them. May possibly even be in jail.
Now I feel like I belong. And I am chosen. Out of all the kids that were up for adoption they picked me. They have continued to show me the love of Christ. Even when I messed up, they didn’t give up on me. God has blessed me beyond what I deserved by giving me this family.”
Please prayerfully consider adopting an older child and give them a chance at having a happy childhood!  If you live in Saline or Perry Counties (Arkansas), please join us for an information meeting to learn more.  Visit our Events page to find the link for upcoming information meetings.

Lemonade Love Stand for Foster Kids in Saline County

Selling lemonade in the front yard is an all-American childhood tradition. As the temperature rises so does entrepreneurship as kids see the opportunity to provide a refreshing drink for their neighbors.  This summer your family’s lemonade stand can also encourage children to have a mission-minded world view and help children in foster care!

In the summer of 2017, a six-year old girl named Kate decided she wanted to do something “to help homeless kids in foster care to find a family!”  It all came together on her neighborhood street in Little Rock when her whole family produced Kate’s Lemonade Stand for Foster Kids.  The stand raised over $300 and went to benefit The CALL in Pulaski County – helping to mobilize the Church in Pulaski County to love foster children with the extravagant love of Christ. That’s Lemonade Love!

This year The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties invite families to join in the fun of this family-oriented, community fund and awareness raising event in July and August.  Each stand will distribute flyers offering the latest stories and statistics on the foster care crisis, encourage generosity by offering lemonade to customers for a donation to help The CALL turn lemons in to lemonade for foster children!  We encourage Lemonade Love Stand operators to make it a family affair by baking treats and snacks, holding a simultaneous yard or garage sale during the stand to draw more traffic.  We will provide yard signs, a poster for your stand, a unique text-to-give code, cups, and a limited number of Chick-fil-A treat coupons for your first customers.  Families provide the creativity and lemonade!

Three gift baskets donated by Chick-fil-A (Reynolds Road)  valued at $100 each (includes free meal coupons!) will be awarded for:

  • Most creative stand
  • Stand that raises the most total donations
  • A drawing for a prize from among all of our stand hosts

Click here to sign up for your Lemonade Love Stand for Foster Kids!  

10th Anniversary Family Reunion

The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties celebrated 10 years of serving in our community with a ‘Family Reunion’ for families who have fostered or adopted from foster care, volunteers, and supporters.  We enjoyed a meal of fried chicken or crawfish boil (from Riverside Grocery), green beans donated by Gina’s Catering, desserts from our local churches, soft drinks from Coca Cola, and water bottles from Big Red Stores.

Sack races, inflatables from Midtowne Church, face painting, baggo and other activities provided entertainment while parents visited & enjoyed a pleasant evening!

The CALL is thankful for the response to the foster care crisis in our community with:

  • 632 Families attending Information Meetings to learn about foster care
  • 272 Families completing the required training to foster or adopt
  • 195 Families opening their homes to children in foster care
  • 141 Children adopted into their forever families
  • Hundreds of children fostered by families recruited by The CALL

THANK YOU to our sponsors who made the event possible:

 

Annual Sponsors:

Crawfish Boil 

 

 

 

 

The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties’ 10th Anniversary

The CALL is celebrating 10 years of serving in Saline & Perry Counties to educate, equip, and encourage the Christian community to provide a future and a hope for children in foster care in Arkansas.

When The CALL launched in 2009, we only had 17 foster families to care for the kids in foster care in our community.  Today we have 61 total foster homes opened, 43 of these homes have been recruited and trained by The CALL.

In the past 10 years in Saline & Perry Counties, The CALL has helped

  • 632 families attend information meetings to learn more about foster care, adoption, and volunteering
  • 272 families attend training to foster or adopt
  • 195 families opened their homes to children in foster care
  • 142 children find their forever families through adoption

We are praising God for his grace and provision as he continues to move hearts to open families to children in foster care!

This year we have event sponsorship opportunities for a ‘family reunion’ for our families and volunteers and also have annual sponsorship opportunities, which will allow us to promote your business or organization at all of our events for 12 months.  Thank you to the following

Event Sponsors:

Annual Sponsors:

Event and Annual Sponsorship Opportunities are appreciated and available- please contact us at 501-574-2364 or email salineperry@thecallinarkansas.org for more information.

Loving Louie

Many of you have probably heard about Louie, a young boy with a terminal illness who has a love for first responders. Louie’s optimism and hope in hard times have inspired so many and that could not have been possible without Adam and Chrystal Baker.

Adam and Chrystal Baker are foster parents with The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties. They have been active volunteers for several years and have recently started ministering to Louie and his family. The Bakers heard about Louie’s condition from a friend on Facebook and they knew they wanted to do something for his family. Chrystal said she was picturing bringing them a dinner or some other small act of encouragement, but “Adam had bigger plans”. They learned that Louie liked law enforcement and first responders and, since Adam had worked in law enforcement for several years, they saw this as an opportunity to do something special for him. Soon after this, they began forming a group of first responders to make a parade for Louie. A few emails to local agencies spread and by the day of the parade there were over 100 emergency vehicles that showed up to support Louie in the parade. Since this day, Adam has visited Louie daily and looks for any chance to brighten Louie’s day. Other law enforcement and first responders have also joined in on the daily visits to Louie, giving him something to look forward to every day.

Adam and Chrystal are perfect examples of what Christians are called to do: to love our neighbors with unconditional love. This story also shows us how one little spark of kindness can start a wildfire of love and encouragement that can affect more people than we can imagine.

In speaking about Louie, Chrystal said “Louie has changed us. His love for people is infectious and he just makes you want to be a better person.” Next time you see a #Louiestrong sticker on the back of a car or T-shirt think about the Bakers and how, just like them, you could make an impact through a small decision to love a neighbor.

Please continue to pray for Louie and his family.  For updates, visit his CaringBridge page.

Guest post by Karlee Kindy, intern with The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties