Most folks don't know my story, because I don't really tell it. Call it a case of the #INTJs, if you like, but talking about my personal life isn't one of the things I love to do publicly. More than twenty years ago, DFCS closed my case two days after I turned 18. Fastest thing they did for me as a ward of the court. To be honest, foster care wasn't the horror I've heard it can be and is for most children. Being part of a family, having a Dad, helped heal my heart. Over the years, I've realized how fortunate I am, and have been looking for a way to help others the way my foster Dad, instilled in me.
What I've looked for over the years is an organization that supports former foster children as they transition from group or foster home into adulthood. This led to me consistently searching, finding an organization then not connecting with how they carry out their mission. Color me surprised when a post on Facebook (my least favorite social media platform) led me to the charity with which I connected almost immediately upon discovery. I've given my first donation, and will continue to give back as often and much as possible to ThinkOf_US.
Thinkof_Us is a mobile app that aids foster care youth in setting themselves up for the best life possible after aging out of the system. Between the technology and functionality of this organization's vision they're the perfect place for me to start giving back. I'm committed to a future of reaching back to help those traveling the uncertain road ahead of them.
Before God sent me a superhero turned guardian angel in my foster Dad, he gave me an overbearing, intelligent, amazing, big brother. We bumped heads, fought each other, protected each other, and bonded over the traumas sprinkled frequently through our childhood. My first "Avenger"... if you're into Marvel or DC Comics.
He played football in high school and loved the Lord. Decades later, he traded his pads for a whistle. He pours into the lives of youth in his community and helps shape the lives of tomorrow using the discipline of football, as a coach. Over the years, if and when I needed anything he'd be there many times no question asked. When others allowed lies to rip me from our biological family and place me in foster care, he believed me. My ultimate goal is to one day be able to afford to sponsor an entire season for his team. Until then, I make regular donations, and cheer him on from Western Pennsylvania sporting my Hurricanes gear!