“Love me for who I am.”

That is the silent plea of children growing up without families. In 2020, Kidsave is reminding our supporters of our commitment to give these kids a voice and a choice, recognizing their wisdom, experience, and hopes. We see life from their perspective. That perspective might include multiple placements in temporary group homes where they have a bed and a place to eat, but no sense of camaraderie, no trusted, loving adult, no one to stay on top of their homework, no one to appreciate their uniqueness and encourage their talents.

Join us as we envision the future through the eyes of children. Kids in foster care long for a sense of normalcy and belonging. If you check out our photo galleries, you will get a glimpse of what makes each child unique. These kids have hopes, dreams, ideas, and they deserve attention. Kidsave recruits caring mentors and hosts who are ready and willing to support the goals of kids like 11-year-old Kyle in Colombia who wants to excel in soccer, or  “JJ,” a caring 15-year-old girl in Los Angeles who loves Chinese food and hopes to become a physician.

Our programs help provide a pathway for kids to actually reach their goals. Kidsave gives kids a say in their journeys. We empower and encourage them to be who they are and to feel completely accepted — as is. While our ultimate goal is a home for every child, we want to ensure the kids we serve feel embraced, acknowledged and cared for individually.

So, we are taking a step back and thinking like kids again. Remember what it was like for you when you looked at the world with a sense of wonder and hopes and dreams that you could conquer whatever you chose? Sadly, many of our kids have never really had the luxury to see the world through the eyes of a child. Our kids and teens have had to mature beyond their years, and our goal is to give them a chance to regain the innocence of child-like curiosity through the love, support, and safety our families provide.

In 2020: 

-We are working to expand our US programs and just wrapped up training in Texas to start serving teens in March. While in Houston, child welfare professionals told us that Texas has large numbers of teens living in residential treatment centers, not because they have significant special needs, but because there are no foster or adoptive families to take them in. Many of those kids really want families, but they currently have no one for them. These professionals are excited about the possibility of finally providing these kids hope through Weekend Miracles. We are working to expand to Georgia and to more counties in North Carolina this year as well. Support this expansion.

-We are recruiting diligently for new families and have a goal of serving 60 Colombian kids this summer. While visiting our partners in Colombia this month, a 13-year-old girl told me that she doesn’t care if her family “Is a mom and dad, two moms, two dads or a single mom or dad.” She just wants someone who will accept and love her for who she is. These are the kids we want to help. Sign up to host now.

-Internationally, we continue to employ the family visit model for older kids in institutions, finding local corporations to mentor youth who age out and local families to host, and ultimately take them from the orphanage and into their homes, where they can dream and thrive. Check out our pilot project in Ukraine.

I’ll leave you with the words Fred Rogers sang at the end of each of his programs, words I listened to years ago with my children. Help us start a new decade reminding each precious child no matter how old: “I like you as you are, exactly and precisely, I think you turned out nicely, And I like you as you are… Without a doubt or question, Or even a suggestion, Cause I like you as you are…”

Please take a look at our kid galleries – and spread the word to your friends and families, that they too can help kids in care see the world once again through the eyes of a child by giving, volunteering, hosting or adopting an older child.