Tina Cloer, CEO & president of Children's Bureau, participated in a live radio discussion today on No Limits, an award-winning local program from WFYI, Indianapolis' local NPR station. Host John Krull spoke with Cloer and two other panelists about the growing challenges in Indiana's foster care system.
"I believe there's always hope for the parents," Cloer said. "I've seen some amazing recoveries where having their children removed was when a family hit bottom and was the push they needed to change."
To listen to the context of this and other discussions, visit http://www.wfyi.org/programs/no-limits/radio/childrens-foster-care.
We were so pleased to receive a very creative special delivery today from Oaklandon Unitarian Universalist Church.
Congregants focused specifically on women's health as a justice issue and spent a "Service Project Sundays" creating three dozen hygiene kits for teen girls staying in our shelter.
Each bag contained an encouraging, handwritten note along with soap, shampoo/conditioner, a washcloth, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, feminine products, and more.
- "I am who I want to be starting right now!"
- "Sexuality doesn't define you."
- "You have worth."
- "You are fabulous the way you are!"
Representatives of Children's Bureau and Walmart Foundation will celebrate the Foundation's generous grant of $50,000 for the children's shelter located at the Gene Glick Family Support Center. A check presentation will take place on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Walmart leaders and members of the press are invited to attend this informational celebration and tour of the shelter.
The children's shelter is unique, as the only shelter in Central Indiana providing emergency, temporary residential care for ages 0-17. More than 550 children are served each year. The children's shelter has experienced a steady rise in both the number of children in need of services and the average length of stay.
Walmart Foundation's grant will increase staffing and resources needed to provide more holistic services to children and their families before, during, and after their stay at the shelter.
"This grant from Walmart Foundation could not be more timely and necessary. Children's Bureau is diligently working with local officials to address the dramatic increase of children in need of a safe place to live," said Tina Cloer, President & CEO of Children's Bureau. "We are extremely grateful for the Foundation's generosity and look forward to partnering with them on this endeavor."
"At the Walmart Foundation, we understand that organizations like Children's Bureau are essential to strengthening our community. They share our values and are committed to helping Central Indiana children in need live better," said Walmart's Indianapolis market manager Chip Farris. "With this gift, the staff and volunteers of this shelter will work to make sure children in Indianapolis will find some relief here."
The celebration takes place Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at the Gene Glick Family Support Center, 1575 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., Indianapolis, IN 46202.
About Children's Bureau, Inc.: Children's Bureau services focus on the prevention of child abuse and ne¬glect, preservation of families and placement for children who lack safe and healthy homes. Last year the agency served more than 40,000 children throughout Indiana. Learn more at childrensbureau.org.
About Philanthropy at Walmart: By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women's Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.
This story was submitted by Nicole Woodard of our Community Partners program serving Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties.
James and Ruth Ann have been raising two of their grandsons, Wyatt and Rylee, since birth. James has worked in the construction industry since he was a teen. But this year James learned that he has lung cancer. Due to his health and the enormous amount of doctor's appointments, James could no longer work to support the family.
The family was struggling to provide basic needs for the children. The children were placed on the Hope for the Holidays tree for Christmas. The family was grateful to be placed on the tree and would have been happy with any gifts they received.
Their sponsors did an amazing job providing gifts for this family! The boys had mentioned that they loved riding bicycles, although neither child owned one. The sponsor provided both boys with a brand new bicycle! They also received helmets, knee and elbow pads, a bicycle pump and a tool kit especially for repairing bikes! The boys also received clothing, a chess set and two play tents.
Ruth Ann and James cried when they read the Christmas card from their sponsors and saw the gifts. It was a wonderful moment. They wanted to send pictures of both boys trying their bicycles out on Christmas day to say thank you. Without our generous Hope for the Holidays sponsors, families like theirs would not have such a wonderful Christmas.
This family lost everything to a fire in late September 2015. Mother had a full time job at a local restaurant and had taken a rare weekend off work to drive her two children to see their grandmother in Kentucky. While there, she received a call from her apartment manager. Her apartment had been broken into and gasoline was poured all over her furniture in every room and a trail of gasoline was lit from outside the door. The fire destroyed not only her apartment but the one next door and two above. Her immediate concern was for her neighbors. Fortunately, they were at work or out running errands. Mother said she drove home in horror and shame, wondering how she would face the people who lost their homes and belongings due to the anger and violence of her former partner. The fire was set by her youngest child's father, from whom she had separated months prior to the fire. He stalked her. She took all the right steps, making police reports and obtaining a restraining order.
Upon arriving home, mother found the Salvation Army waiting with a motel room until a vacant apartment could be readied for the family. Her neighbors were kind and the community collected used clothing and household items for the family. Unfortunately, mother's employer was not as sympathetic and put her off the schedule until she could get her life straightened out. Then she was told she was not needed anymore.
Mother's new apartment was ready the second week of October. She immediately began putting donated pictures on the walls, since almost all her children's pictures were lost. (Only one small box survived.) These might have been someone else's pictures and belongings but she was determined to create "home" for her children as soon as possible. Mother found temporary work at warehouses and factories. Some jobs would last two weeks, others only a few days. It has been very hard for mother to make ends meet without steady work but she has been plugging away, hoping each new assignment will turn into a full-time job. Almost all of the children's toys and clothing were destroyed - all their favorite shirts, dresses, stuffed animals, blankets, videos … everything was gone. Mother knew that she would not be able to afford Christmas gifts. She wanted them to have things that would become new treasured toys.
The first of November, when asked if she would like for her children to participate in Hope for the Holidays, Mother was amazed that she would be able to say what the children would like and need. She described her 2-year-old daughter's love of Minnie Mouse, dolls, doll strollers and her need for warm sleepers and boots. She lost her stuffed Minnie Mouse in the fire and all her dress-up clothes. We wrote about her 6-year-old son's loss of his stuffed Ninja Turtle and matching blanket in the fire. He also needed boots, jeans and a warm sweatshirt. He wanted a football and DVDs for Christmas. This family was sponsored soon after being placed on the tree. The donors provided a stuffed Minnie Mouse and Ninja Turtle, pajamas, a Lego set, a doll stroller, warm boots, jeans, beautiful little girl outfits and a Ninja Turtle hoodie! There were also blankets monogramed with the children's names. Nothing we mentioned was left out. We delivered the gifts to Mother outside her apartment so the children wouldn't see. She jumped and whooped so loud that the neighbors stopped to share her joy!
Yes, kids (and mom), there is a Santa Claus.