Volunteers tie blue ribbons for foster care awareness

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MILWAUKEE -- If you drive along Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, you'll notice a whole lot of blue lining the street this week.  They're ribbons to raise awareness about foster care.

Starting at the Shops of Grand Avenue on 3rd St. and Wisconsin Ave., close to 50 volunteers marched through Downtown Monday tying the blue ribbons around trees and light poles.

“We want everyone to get involved,” said Peggy Sue Caston.

Caston was one of the volunteers lending a helping hand and she’s a foster parent herself, dedicating the past six years to the cause.

“I have three at home.  I have a 5-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old, who is in reunification with his dad,” said Caston.

The Children's Service Society of Wiscosnin, or CSSW, held the annual ribbon tie.  For about a mile down Wisconsin Ave., from 6th St. to Prospect Ave., the line of blue symbolizes the need for foster parents.  It's a problem that grows year after year.

“Right now, today, there are nearly 2,000 kids in foster care here in the Milwaukee community.  Statewide, there are nearly 6,000 kids in foster care,” said Amy Herbst from CSSW.

This year, companies like Rockwell Automation and Target have teamed up with foster parents like Caston to spread the message to be a “kid hero.”

“To be able to give back, to give children hope, love, a home.  You know, so that they know they belong,” said Caston.

For every day these blue ribbons remain visible, they hope it’s one more reminder that every child deserves a loving home.

“I say open your home, your heart.  Let the children in.  If you have an extra bedroom and can house children, please do so.  They need you,” said Caston.

This is the third year CSSW and its volunteers have tied ribbons for foster care.

If you'd like to become a foster parent, or want more information on the cause, visit the Children Service Society of Wisconsin’s website.