MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Blue ribbons now decorate parts of downtown Milwaukee. On Wednesday morning, August 6th volunteers tied the ribbons to trees and light poles to help raise awareness of the need for foster families in the Milwaukee community.
Dozens of volunteers from area businesses and from the community at the Grand Avenue Mall spread out Wednesday morning to decorate the area with blue ribbons.
It was Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services’ fifth "Ribbon Tie for Foster Care."
“All it takes is one person to see this ribbon and step up and say 'this is for me. This is something I should be doing,'” said Langston Verdin, Out Of Home Care Recruitment Supervisor for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
“There are so many children out there that just need a loving home, and even a mentor in their life, and that`s just so important to us to take in children that need help,” said Rebecca Schmitt who wants to foster a child, and volunteered her time to tie ribbons on Wednesday.
Organizers say the purpose of the ribbon tie is to target adults in the community who could open their homes to a foster child.
“We’ve licensed already this year 125 foster homes, so we’re here to say that’s not enough. We need the folks in our community, the adults in our community to step up and help the kids in our community who are in vulnerable situations and so we do this ribbon tie to spread awareness to the community,” said Verdin.
Verdin said even though they are ahead of the game so far this year with 125 licensed homes in just seven months (last year's total was 150), it’s not enough.
“We have many foster parents who retire. They adopt and they can no longer foster, so we’re constantly trying to replenish the stock of new foster homes, so we need folks who have what it takes, who love kids, who are willing to be patient and take the time to get to know the children and our ultimate goal is to get them back home or find an adoptive resource,” said Verdin.
If you're interested in becoming a foster parent or helping to mentor a child -- CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can get involved.