Hen­ri­cus joins cam­paign to help fos­ter chil­dren

Park of­fers free ad­mis­sion for fos­ter fam­i­lies Nov. 18

The Progress-Index Weekend - - COMMUNITY - Con­trib­uted Re­port

CH­ESTER — Hen­ri­cus His­tor­i­cal Park has joined the Give Big Amer­ica move­ment to raise aware­ness of Amer­ica’s fos­ter chil­dren through­out the month of Novem­ber, and to raise money to sup­port Con­nect Our Kids, a non­profit build­ing cloud­based tech­nol­ogy tools to sup­port those work­ing in the fos­ter care sys­tem.

There are over 400,000 chil­dren in the sys­tem. Over 20,000 kids age-out of the fos­ter care sys­tem every year. By age 26, two-thirds will have been home­less, in­car­cer­ated, or are dead.

Con­nect Our Kids is an or­ga­ni­za­tion com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing soft­ware that will dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the fam­ily re­cruit­ment process for fos­ter chil­dren.

This in­no­va­tive group is pri­vately funded, and they are ask­ing their fel­low Amer­i­cans for help by do­nat­ing money to de­velop cloud-based tech­nolo­gies to im­prove fos­ter care out­comes.

This Novem­ber, vol­un­teers across the coun­try will share kind­ness and shine a spot­light on Amer­ica’s fos­ter chil­dren by do­nat­ing their time, tal­ent, or trea­sure. Hen­ri­cus His­tor­i­cal Park is par­tic­i­pat­ing in this grass­roots cam­paign by of­fer­ing free ad­mis­sion to fos­ter chil­dren and their fam­i­lies on Novem­ber 18 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The event on this day, Af­fairs of the Hearth, will give vis­i­tors the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore 17th-cen­tury cook­ing in the daily life of English soldiers, mid­dle-class colonists, and Vir­ginia In­di­ans. Fos­ter fam­i­lies may con­tact their lo­cal so­cial ser­vices of­fice to re­ceive their free-ad­mis­sion coupon.

“As a cul­tural re­source ded­i­cated to the ed­u­ca­tion and well-be­ing of chil­dren, we are hon­ored to be a part of this im­por­tant cam­paign to raise aware­ness and im­prove the process of con­nect­ing fos­ter chil­dren with lov­ing fam­i­lies,” said Charles L. Grant, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Hen­ri­cus His­tor­i­cal Park.

Ad­di­tion­ally, this cam­paign aims to col­lect in-kind do­na­tions for six part­ner or­ga­ni­za­tions that work di­rectly with over 3,000 fos­ter chil­dren.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.GiveBIGAmer­ica.com.

[SCOTT P. YATES, FILE/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Aiden Sey­mour, 9, of North Ch­ester­field, played at the 9-pin area at Hen­ri­cus His­tor­i­cal Park in Ch­ester in Septem­ber 2016.

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