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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advocate Wednesday: Hear from Champaign County, IL!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to deliver Christmas gifts to an agency for Intact Families in our community. A local agency had identified families in their “intact” program who are actively engaging in services such as parenting classes, anger management, and counseling in order to bring positive changes to their families. Many of these families live in poverty and are unable to use the few resources they have to buy Christmas gifts for their children. A local church put out this request and church members adopted children to shop for and brought wrapped gifts the following Sunday.

When I first started this advocate journey, I didn’t know what the term ‘intact families’ meant. Now I know what it means, and now a local church in my community understands the term too. And Praise God they responded to the need! 
This is one of my favorite things about The Forgotten Initiative… one way we desire to mobilize the Body is by teaching them about the need.  Each time I meet with a caseworker or a foster parent, I learn something.
Yesterday I learned that the number of “Intact” families can change abruptly. . families are always being added to the program and sometimes children in these “intact” families enter the foster care system.

Each gift from this local church had a tag that said the family’s #, the child’s age, and whether or not the gift went to a female or male. As I sorted through the pile of gifts, I couldn’t help but think about the 22 families and the 56 children that were represented… the reason the gifts were there was because an agency expressed a need and a church responded to that need.  

It's that simple.  Learn the need, tell the need.  Hear the need, respond to the need.  Simple, but with an enormous impact as we share the love of Jesus.

Merry Christmas from Champaign County!

Jen Young and familyJen Young
Forgotten Advocate: Champaign County, IL
Jen Young has a passion to share with others the hope and joy she has found in Christ. Jen worked as a Helping Coordinator for a non-profit organization that offered different resources to the local poor but when her daughter was born, she left her job to become a stay-at-home mom. Through her own journey of parenting and a close friend’s foster care experiences, God began showing her His heart for the foster care community and now Jen serves as a Forgotten Advocate. She and her husband Matt have two children.

Click Here To Find Needs in the Champaign, IL Area

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