SAFFT BY THE NUMBERS
Christmas Parade Parking
What: Direct Parking at SAFFT’s parking lot
When: Saturday, December 7th from 3pm-5pm
What:Paint walls of the office spaces and visitation rooms
When: Saturday, December 7th from 9am-4pm
Supplies Requested: Paint and Painting Materials
What: Trim bushes, cut grass, weed eating, and edging
When: Saturday, December 7th from 9am-4pm
Supplies Requested: Yard Tools
What: Wrap Christmas presents for children in foster care
When: Saturday, December 14th from 9am-12pm
Supplies Requested: tape, wrapping paper, gift boxes for clothing, name tags, and bows
Meet Katie! Katie is one of our Family Success Managers and has been with SAFFT for a little over a year. We asked Katie to tell us a little more about herself and the impact SAFFT is making on the families we serve and here is what she had to say:
“Several parents have told me in the past that they feel like they are heard and understood at SAFFT and that everyone here is nice to them. I think that makes a difference in their lives because most places they go, it seems like they feel judged or alienated. I’ve seen SAFFT make a difference in foster parents and foster children’s lives by offering duffel bags filled with new clothing and hygiene items. It seems like a huge relief when we can save people some money on necessities like toothpaste and school clothes.
Our play rooms are kind of unique because they’re set up in a way that is supposed to feel like home. A lot of people have expressed that they enjoy spending time with their children here because it feels comfortable and allows them to do things they wish they could do at home like play board games, watch movies, and work on homework at the table.”
SAFFT IN THE COMMUNITY
We want to give a big THANK YOU to North Georgia Community Foundation for a $10,000 Grant for Therapy Services! This is sure to go far in helping families in foster care heal from the trauma they have experienced!
We thoroughly enjoyed Forsyth County Family Haven’s Purple Purpose Luncheon! They are doing an incredible job helping families experiencing domestic violence and we’re grateful to partner with them in this work!
We are so grateful to the faBOOlous neighbors of Fieldstone Community in Cumming for providing Halloween treats for our kiddos! They provided 80+ bags and our kids enjoyed their treats! Thank you Fieldstone Community!
SAFFT would like to thank Christine Martinello with Original Lovebox and Miss Georgia, Victoria Hill, for inviting SAFFT to the Foster Love Party and giving our foster families five free tickets. We had a wonderful time with our foster families!
What a blast at Bucky’s Boo Bash at Beaver Toyota! We had a great time playing Musical Pumpkins with the families who came out!
Black Friday → Cyber Monday → Giving Tuesday!
We’d love for you to connect with us on Facebook on Tuesday, December 2, 2019. Facebook is matching donations given to nonprofit organizations! We’d love for you to double your impact while supporting children in foster care! Click the button below!
Join us at PopBar Alpharetta on Small Business Saturday (11/30). Popbar is located in the Halcyon at 6710 Town Square, Suite 130, Alpharetta, GA!
Treat yourself to an amazing gelato, sorbet, or yogurt ON A STICK while supporting an amazing cause!
As we enjoy our families this season, let us remember that children in foster care want to experience that same joy, cheer, and love within their families.
Today, we launch our #HopeForTheHolidays campaign! With your help, we can ensure that holistic services are provided to children in foster care that support permanency through reunification or adoption!
Please help us spread hope! Your support is crucial to our efforts to alleviate the generational cycle of child abuse, addiction, child neglect, homelessness, unemployment, and severe poverty.
If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to help us achieve our mission! Just click the button below!
By: Adlen Robinson
When I was a little girl, my mother used to tell me to be nice to everybody because you never knew when you might be speaking to an angel.
After leaving a meeting with my new friend, Melony Witt, I felt as if I may have met that angel.
Melony and her husband, Andrew, just signed the final adoption papers for not one, not two, but five children. The children, all siblings, range in age from 5 to 12.
They join the family of Melony, Andrew and their 12-year-old son.
So what was it like to go from having an only child, to having six?
“It has been an amazing experience,” Melony said. “They are very close to each other, and we feel incredibly blessed to have them.”
Before adopting them, Melony and Andrew were foster parents.
“Most people don’t know much about the world of foster parenting, but it was not a strange concept to me since when I was growing up my parents were foster parents,” she said.
Melony said her mother always had a heart for children, especially children with special needs.
“My mom is like Mother Teresa,” she said. “I saw her love all sorts of children, besides myself and my siblings.”
Melony married young, gave birth to her son and life seemed great. Tragically, her young husband died, leaving her a single mother of a 3-year-old.
In 2005, Melony met Andrew. After they wed in 2007, he legally adopted her son.
A few years ago, she brought up the subject of fostering and the couple decided to take some classes to learn more.
“When you learn about these kids, your heart just melts,” she said.
After fostering three other children, Melony met the five siblings. She and Andrew embarked on the journey to legally adopt them all.
Melony is quick to say she couldn’t do this alone.
“Andrew is such a great father,” she said. “He is such a patient person, with so much love to give our children. He is truly a special person.”
Ashley Anderson, executive director of Supporting Adoption and Foster Families Together, knows quite a bit about foster parenting.
Besides being the director of SAFFT, she and her husband have been foster parents for years.
Anderson said becoming foster parents was absolutely “life changing.”
Since its formation in January 2009, Anderson said SAFFT has provided a support network for hundreds of foster parents and adoptive families and their children.
“We want to parents to know that they are not alone. If we can provide that supportive network for the parents, they can ultimately support the children,” she said.
Anderson said Forsyth County has about 80 children at any one time in the foster care system.
“Because we do not have enough foster parents, half of that number has to be moved outside our county,” she said.
That means children are moved away from their schools, family members and sometimes their siblings.
“We hope that people will consider becoming foster parents,” she said. “We have such a great need right now.”
Anderson said if someone is interested in learning more, he or she can call SAFFT and talk to someone about fostering or attend an information meeting.
In addition, Anderson said there are many other things people can do to help impact one of these children.
“My hope is that everybody will do something, these children are our future,” she said.
Melony said she has no illusions about the challenges ahead for her family.
“I am not saying it has been easy,” she said. “There has been anger, tears and frustration. But the good definitely outweighs the bad … we both feel it is worth it.”
Melony wants to advocate for foster parenting, but does so with a note of caution.
“I want people to know that it is not always going to work perfectly, there are children who may not be a good fit in your home, and that is OK,” she said.
“We look at our own situation and say, we fostered three children that did not work out. But if we had of given up, we wouldn’t have our family.”
I want to thank Melony for sharing her inspiring story. I know six children who are so blessed to have such wonderful and compassionate parents.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally posted on Forsyth News
Supporting Adoption and Foster Families Together, SAFFT, is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving foster children and their caregivers by providing a supportive network.