Archive for the ‘Together We Can Foundation’ Category

It’s official!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

It is indeed official!  Yesterday, we had the launch of the Together We Can Foundation!  We are a brand new foundation begun in Virginia Beach, Virginia to serve the needs of the underserved in our community.  Our first undertaking will involve foster teens who are aging out of the system.

Are you aware that you and I have a custodial responsibility for every foster child in our communities?  I think most citizens hear the words foster child, and don’t know what that really means.  As soon as a child enters the foster care system, he or she becomes OUR child.  No, it’s not a biological thing, and it’s nothing which requires anyone to be super human.  What it does require, in my opinion, is that a given community must be mindful of what these children experience – and they experience far more than any child should – and work together for positive outcomes.  Through no fault of their own, these children live life on the edge, and they need to come back from that edge and see that there are possibilities for them in the future, regardless of what has happened to them in their past.

That’s where TWC comes in!  We have already been networking within the community, talking with our community college about opportunities for higher education, meeting with individuals who can raise a public profile of this situation through media, etc. etc.  And, yesterday, we were fortunate to have the First Lady of Virginia Anne Holton Kaine to appear before City Council to speak about her For Keeps program she has spearheaded to help foster children find permanent homes.  Prior to her Council appearance, during which time she gave us a big boost, she met with all of the Board members and the juvenile court judges for what was a terrific lunchtime get together!  What an exciting day!

Our Board members are rarin’ to go, so  look for more posts on our activities.  In the meantime, you can check us out at the Together We Can Foundation website.  Take a few minutes and go through our interactive information.  The needs of foster children are not exclusive to Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Nationwide, there are approximately 500,000 children in foster care.  This means that you have children in your area.  Think about how you can help, can get involved, and change a life for the better!

A day at the Governor’s mansion!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

It’s been a few days since I last posted – deadline to meet, sleep to catch up on, etc. etc. Today was something out of the ordinary, so I knew I would have to write about it!

If you look back through my posts, you will see that I discuss being on the executive board of directors for Together We Can Foundation. Our mission is to address the underserved in our community – i.e., the mentally challenged, seniors with few resources, foster children – the list goes on. We have focused first on foster teens aging out of the system, and our plans dovetail quite nicely with those of the First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia – Mrs. Anne Holton Kaine. We were invited to speak with her this morning, so seven of us on the board made the 1 3/4-hour trip to Richmond.

At this time of the year, Richmond is hot, hazy, and humid, as is so much of Virginia, and today was no exception. When you enter the grounds, however, you immediately notice the huge, sheltering trees, the graceful sweep of the home, and the peaceful appearance of this stately building. Once inside, the first floor is beautifully decorated in period furniture, and lovely paintings of important figures in Virginia’s history remind you of the richness of those who have gone before us. Richness not in wealth, but in their contributions – a lovely portrait of Pocahontas is on the wall on the right of the foyer. She was presented at court in England when she married John Rolfe, and you see her beautiful clothing, complete with the ruffled high collar, and fitted bodice.

We entered the formal dining room, and seated ourselves around the banquet table, and quietly awaited our meeting. Presently, the First lady arrived with her administrative assistant, and we began a substantive talk about our program and how we can work together to make real progress on the issues facing our at-risk foster teens. It was an animated discussion, and we came away with the very positive impression of a woman who is thoughtful, insightful, intelligent, and highly approachable. If you follow American politics, and I certainly hope all of you do, you are aware that Governor Tim Kaine is on the short list of possible running mates for Obama. Mrs. Holton-Kaine would be an enormous asset to the nation, as she certainly has been to our state.

After we parted company, we piled into our cars and headed for the Shockhoe Slip area of Richmond – the bottom land which has become quite a hot location for eateries, nightspots, and the arts. We ate at Millie’s which looks like an average place on the outside, and has wonderful food on the inside. We arrrived just ahead of the lunch crowd. When we left, those waiting had formed a line through the front doors and outside – and all of this in 95 degree weather! Good eatins’!

The trip back seemed to take so little time, as the four of us cackling women kept one another laughing all the way. What a terrific day, for a wonderful cause, with great friends on a road trip! What more could you ask??????

Together We Can Foundation

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

It’s been several days since my last post – so much sculpting, so little time…. But, there is something else which occupies my mind, and that is a brand new charitable foundation, of which I am an executive board member.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like not to have a permanent home, a family who loves you and cares about you, a place to go when you are on spring break from college, a prom dress or  a class ring for graduation?  These are some of the many issues, large and small, facing foster teens as they struggle to come to grips with the situations in which they find themselves.  Our newly organized  Together We Can Foundation has as its goal to improve the lives and the futures of teenagers who transition from foster care into what has to be a very tenuous world.  We want our young people to have:

HOPE

OPPORTUNITY

ADEQUATE PREPARATION

SUPPORT

To do this, we will be launching our public information and fundraising efforts through press releases, brochures, word-of-mouth, and a September 9th visit from Virginia’s First Lady Anne Holton, whose platform issue has been her For Keeps initiative that every foster child needs a “forever family” .  We are indeed privileged to have her here to speak with community leaders and Virginia Beach City Council to underscore the responsibilities we all must undertake on behalf of our children.

Together We Can will have a website up and fully operational shortly, and I will be linking you to it.  This effort in my own community can be mirrored in yours as well.  All it takes is a group of “troublemakers”, as we laughingly refer to ourselves, to bring this issue out in the sunlight and get things moving in a positive direction.  Every citizen in our country has this responsibility, because the foster care programs nationwide are under governmental direction —- we all = government!  Think about how you can help where you live, and become active!  It will give so much to children in need, and it will give so much to you!