A program that uses paintings by children in foster care to recruit more foster families got a financial boost Monday from some volunteers at Wallace Thomson Hospital.
The volunteers donated $400 to the Department of Social Services' Foster Family Recruitment Program. Foster Family Recruiter Amy C. Austin said the money will be used to purchase materials and cover reproduction costs for this year's Arts Day. The event, which is sponsored by the recruitment program and the Union County Arts Council, provides children in foster care with the opportunity to paint.
Paintings produced at last year's Arts Day have been framed and are given to those who donate $40 or more to the recruiting fund. Note cards were created from the same art work and are given to persons who donate $5 or more.
Mrs. Austin said the goal of the program is to recruit more families for children in foster care. She said the money donated by the volunteers and raised through the children's artwork helps finance the program.
“In an effort to recruit more foster families in Union County, I have been working with local organizations and businesses to help in any way they can,” Mrs. Austin said. “The money donated to this fund is used for materials and recruiting projects throughout the county.
“We are currently campaigning statewide for more families to come forward and be a gift of hope for children in care,” she said. “The ultimate statewide goal is one child per family. We have a long way to go.”
Twenty-eight works by the foster children are on display in the Obstetrics Unit at Wallace Thompson Hospital. They are displayed alongside baby photographs created and donated by Angel Foster of Little Angels Portrait Studio.
The presence of the paintings and the photographs is welcomed by OB Director B.J. McMorris.
“Everyone sincerely loves the new pictures in the unit,” Mrs. McMorris said. “It gives a warm feeling to the floor, and shows full circle why we are here. We are very grateful that the volunteers here at Wallace Thomson provided this for us. It is also a comfort to know that children of all ages will have a chance to be nurtured and loved thanks to the help of Foster Care.”
Mrs. Austin said she hopes to see more art produced by children at this year's Arts Day.
“The Second Annual Arts Day is coming up soon so Union will see more great art created by precious children,” Mrs. Austin said. “Union County currently has five foster families and 31 children in care. It is our hope that more families will come forward to care for these children during difficult times.
“If you love children and have good parenting skills, we look forward to hearing from you and making you a part of our team,” she said. “Please help to make a difference in the lives of Union County's children and let's keep our children in our great community.”
Persons interested in becoming a foster parent or making a donation to the recruitment program should contact Mrs. Austin at 251-4031.