MILWAUKEE — It’s a flash mob for a cause to help children. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University campuses Tuesday, May 1st, dozens of people spent the day holding signs and performing handstands to draw attention to a campaign called “Turn a Life Around.” The campaign raises awareness for the need of foster care families.
“I have a sibling group of two. They’re thee and six and I have a young lady that’s 14 years old,” Carlene Keys, who’s been a foster parent for 13 years said. Keys has taken in close to 90 foster kids with open arms and an open heart. “It’s very rewarding. It’s very necessary. When you see these children get attached to you and tell you they love you and thank you,” Keys said.
The push to find parents like Keys is even more important these days. The month of May is National Foster Care Awareness month.
“Every two hours, a child in Wisconsin enters the foster care system. There are about 5,400 children in the system right now and good foster homes can make such a difference to those kids,” Marilyn Boeldt, director of Adoption Resources of Wisconsin said.
This is the second year ARW has kicked off the month-long “Turn a Life Around” campaign to recruit families that are interested. “We wanted to change the tone of the discussion and talk about the positive experiences that foster parents have,” Boeldt said.
Last year alone, ARW saw a 280 percent increase in the number of foster parent applications. This year, the goal is the same, providing kids in transition with a loving home and a chance to turn their lives around each day at a time. “Good foster parents can make a difference in a day or in a lifetime,” Boeldt said. “You can be a hero without even trying because they will reward you with their affection,” Keys said.
If you’d like to become a foster parent or would like more information, click here to be directed to the “Turn a Life Around” campaign website. Foster parents for teenagers and sibling groups are most needed.