It Takes A Village…
“It takes a village to raise a child,” you may have heard. Or as Palmer Home often puts it, “They need our help. We need yours.” However you may say it, the truth behind the words stands firm. Parenting, in the best of circumstances, is hard work. Parenting a child who has a background of trauma, or who has special needs is an even harder task. We would argue the rewards increase in kind, but that’s another story for another day.
Lately, our blog has focused on the expansion of Palmer Home for Children’s mission through our Jonah’s Journey ministry. We’re encouraging families across the state of Mississippi to step up and consider becoming certified caregivers to aid with the state foster care crisis. Maybe you’ve been reading those posts and thinking, “That’s wonderful, but… (insert situation here).” We hear you! Maybe you’d love to become a certified caregiver but are unable to do so because of the nature of your job. Maybe your financial situation is currently fragile. Maybe your family is only in the area temporarily. Maybe you’re single and in college. Whatever “maybe” applies to you, we understand.
But you, my friend, are still a part of the village. Your help is still needed!
Today we want to share with you 4 ways that you can join in the effort by rallying around caregivers, volunteering your time and resources, and spreading awareness.
- Help a family who’s fostering. Perhaps you know someone who has foster children in their home. At Palmer Home we like to call these people Caregivers. Caregiving is a full-time responsibility, especially when there are special needs involved. Find a caregiver near you and volunteer to babysit (for free!) to give them an evening out. (Bonus: Buy them a gift card to a nice restaurant.) Take the kids to lunch one day and give mom an hour to herself. Help with carpooling. Offer your tutoring skills after school. Organize a meal train to bring the family dinner one night a week for a few months. (We recommend this website.) Come alongside that family and lend a supportive hand, or even just a listening ear. We guarantee they won’t soon forget it.
- Volunteer your time. Palmer Home accepts volunteers all over campus. You may also end up volunteering your services! We’re always looking for skilled labor to help complete various projects, and there are tons of opportunities to get involved. From the Palmer Thrift Stores to the Palmer School to Hope Grows Greenhouses, we’ll find a place for you and your group to serve. We also have the opportunity for a family to sponsor a child. This involves spending weekends or holidays with a child, giving them a “second family” so to speak. Visit our volunteer page to learn more. If you have other ideas, use our contact page to share them with us and we’ll do our best to make sure you find a place to plug in!
- Raise funding. Palmer Home and our ministries are privately funded, meaning we rely on generous gifts from people just like you. Although we host our own exciting events each year, like Radiothon and Mudbug Bash, we’re often amazed at how our incredible supporters come up with new and fun ideas to benefit our organization. Whether it’s a CrossFit competition, a 5k race, a cupcake sale, or a simple lemonade stand, there are tons of ways to get the whole family involved. Find something you enjoy doing and turn that into a way to give back!
- Raise awareness. Did you know that in the U.S., one child enters foster care every 2 minutes? If you didn’t know that, your friends probably don’t either! There’s also a chance they don’t know about the great things happening through Palmer Home and Jonah’s Journey. Did you know we’re currently in a search for caregivers for both of our Palmer Home campuses, and through Jonah’s Journey? It’s quite possible that you know the perfect person to meet a need, but that person doesn’t even know the need exists yet! You can be a part of our team by helping us share the good news of rescue and restoration available for children in need. You’re the missing link between us and the people who haven’t heard yet—we need your help! Get the whole family involved. Retweet, forward emails, share Facebook posts, utilize our Christmas cards—help us get the word out!
Are the creative juices flowing yet? We can’t wait to hear and see how you will amaze us next! Whether your family begins down the road of becoming certified Caregivers, your church rallies around a family with foster children, or you and your friends become vocal leaders in the battle for awareness, you are a vital part of this community. You are helping Make Lives Whole.
Share more ideas with us in the comments section for how you and your friends or family are joining in the mission!