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Heroes for Children in Foster Care
Southern California Chapter Efforts Honored by the LA Board of Supervisors: Everyone loves a hero. They have the ability to recognize a problem, find a solution and act. In Los Angeles, the Southern California Chapter volunteers are heroes to children in foster care. When Sari Grant from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) told the Chapter that a number of foster children were missing opportunities to be adopted just because they lacked transportation to meet families wanting to adopt, the HOPE worldwide volunteers stepped up and created the “Hope Driving Program.” Maureen Gibson, who leads this Chapter initiative, stated that the program is the first of its kind in Los Angeles.
David and Robbie Miles, volunteer drivers in the program, related the work to a scripture found in Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
The Hope Driving Program currently has 50 drivers approved or being approved for service. The drivers provide foster children a ride to adoption related events as well as support and encouragement to the little ones as they seek a new family and the hope of a better life.
A Special Honor: On May 15, 2012, The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors presented a scroll to Tony Newsom, the Southern California Chapter Director, for commitment of the organization volunteer service over the past 18 years with the DCFS. In addition to transporting children to adoption fairs and other recruitment activities, the Southern California Chapter assists the children through a variety of activities.
Noted achievements include:
- January 2011 – On MLK Day the Los Angeles Church of Christ singles ministry volunteered at the Adoptions Winter Fest matching event as their service commitment
- January 2012 – Volunteers hosted an event where 600 attended to raise awareness about foster children and volunteerism called “Increasing the Odds of Children in Foster Care in Finding Forever Families.” In addition Chapter volunteers painted beautiful murals in the Children’s Room and Visitation Room at the DCFS Wateridge office, creating a warm and inviting space for both the children and families.
HOPE worldwide is grateful for the Southern California Chapter heroes who recognized a problem, found a solution and most importantly are putting their faith into action for the children in their communities.
Top Left Photo: (L-R) Maureen Gibson, Tony Newsom, and Edwina Lewis proudly display the Chapter’s award.
Middle Right Photo: (L-R) Maureen Gibson, DCFS/Hww S. California Chapter Liaison; Phillip Browning, Director of LA County DCFS; Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County, Fifth District presents the award to Tony Newsom, Chapter Director, Southern California Chapter of HOPE worldwide and Edwina Lewis, DFCS/Hope Driving Program Supervisor.