Boys & Girls Aid is the charity of choice for Newberg CrossFit this holiday season and we are honored to present another week of opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. This marks week three of our four week campaign of making a difference for children in need. As you read more about this wonderful organization if you are moved to join the NCF family in making donations we welcome you to participate.
All items donated must be new items. You can drop donations at Newberg CrossFit during any scheduled class, please see the website for hours http://www.newbergcrossfit.com/schedule-2/. If you would like the items picked up, please email Britnee, an NCF Athlete and Boys & Girls Aid employee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read our third week story about Sam below.
From the Newberg CrossFit Family to yours, thank you for caring about our community and we wish your family a love-filled holiday season.
On any given night in Oregon there are 8,000 children living in foster care. Their average stay is 19 months, which can equate to more than 11 foster placements, which is really just a dressed up way of saying that this child left everything and everyone behind 11 times. The good news about foster care is that nearly 60% of children will return home after the chaos and issues have been addressed. But for the rest of the children, they will bounce around in the foster care system until they age out at 18, only to be literally and totally on their own. When this happens, these kids are 70% more likely to become homeless. Of the girls, 72% will experience their first pregnancy one year after leaving the system and sadly, the cycle will continue. At Boys & Girls Aid, these outcomes are unacceptable and we believe regardless of age or past trauma every child is adoptable and every child deserves to have a family. And Sam is no exception. She has lived in the foster care system for nearly 5 years. She is 16 and wants desperately to have a family before she turns 18, because after that, she knows she’ll never have a family. Sam has a lot of attachment issues, is behind in school, and can be very defiant. This, added to her age makes her less likely to be selected for adoption. At BGAid, we have specialized recruiters who work with kids like Sam. They work with Sam to prepare her for adoption as well as create specialized marketing plans to ensure Sam’s story gets to as many outlets as possible. Sam knows her chances of adoption are slim but to help herself, she wrote a letter to be added to her file so that if anyone did choose to look at her they would hear directly from her. Sam’s letter follows, it is long, but please read it through because it is real and these are the kids that get forgotten. Items we are collecting follow Sam’s letter.
“My name is Sam and I am 16 years old. I’m not confident that anyone out there will want to adopt a 16 year old with baggage I can only pray that I am wrong. In the spirit of honesty, I am not a perfect child but I am honest — here is my story. I never knew my biological father, I’ve been in foster care more times than I can remember, I’ve been neglected, I’ve lost my mother to drugs, I’ve lost all my sisters to adoption and I have been abused. I’ve lost animals, friends, photographs and everything I held dear. I’ve never been snuggled or rocked, no one ever read to me and a parent has never sat with me to do homework. My heart hurts; I’m lonely and broken. However, despite my struggles, I stand strong!
I’m looking for a family with a compassionate foundation. A family who will allow me to be angry. A family who says it’s OK for me to love the mother who has done me wrong. A family who will work with me when life is tough. When I need to be disciplined, don’t yell and please don’t be hateful that no longer works. Sit me down, talk to me kindly, just discipline me with love.
I want a family who will watch me graduate, support my college dreams, a mom that I can talk to about boys, my social life and my past struggles. Though I have not had a father figure in my life, I imagine a perfect dad as a man with good morals, a man who will protect me and support me (emotionally). I want a dad who will beam with pride when the time comes to walk me down the aisle. I’ve never been loved like children should be loved. I need that love in order to learn to love and heal myself.
Are you still reading? If you haven’t moved on to the next child what can I say to convince you? I AM strong, I have a big heart, I’ll clean my room, do the dishes and I’ll do my homework. I’m kind and yea I’m self-absorbed but isn’t that normal for a teenager? Look into my eyes and see a human being, please. With help I know I am salvageable. And one day in the future when I can look back and understand all you went through to help me, the sacrifices you made and I see how you helped me to save myself…… I WILL be grateful.
So as you look at the hundreds of deserving children, I’m raising my hand, praying to God while jumping up and down, yelling, “PICK ME! Please PICK ME!”
This week we will be collecting items for kids like Sam. Because they move so much their things get lost, taken, stolen, who knows – we want to be able to give them some hope and while things can’t replace the need for a family, it helps to feel more “normal”.
T-shirts (for boys and girls) • Cute black teen purse or wallets for the boys • Gloves • Hooded sweatshirts • Knit hats • Pajamas • Scarves • Fun earrings, bracelets • Socks • Sports bras • Sweatpants • Swim goggles • One Piece Bathing Suits • Journals • Note cards and pens • Drawing paper
Learn more about Boys & Girls Aid and read more stories here.