Welcome to Day Two of our #12DaysOfGiving celebration!

This year we collaborated with our Canadian sister company Managed Sales Pros, and invited all of our clients to send us suggestions for the organizations that we could support in their names.  Today's suggestion comes from one of Managed Sales Pros MSP clients in Houston, Uprite Services.

On the Second Day of Giving we donated $200.00 to Houston Child Advocates.  This is a volunteer-fueled organization that supports children living in foster care.

"Child Advocates volunteers are appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of a child or sibling group in foster care.  They serve as the judge’s eyes and ears while the children are in custody, ensuring their unique needs are met until they can safely return home or are permanently placed with a loving relative or adoptive family. Unlike Child Protective Services caseworkers and court appointed attorneys who juggle overwhelming caseloads, our volunteers represent just one child or sibling group at a time. Their advocacy makes sure no child falls through the cracks of our overburdened child welfare system.

Child Advocates volunteers make a profound difference in the lives of the children they serve. Studies show children served by an advocate volunteer are better able to work with others and to control deviant behavior than children without an advocate. Also, more parents of these children complete counseling services, psychiatric evaluations and drug and alcohol counseling than those without an advocate. With Child Advocates’ help, the cycle of abuse can be broken, allowing these children to become productive adults and loving parents."

This donation was near and dear to our CEO's heart.  Carrie has supported both children and adults in care, and was fortunate enough to have a community support organization in Manitoba pay for her college education when she studied Disability and Community, and Leadership in Social Services at Red River College in Manitoba.  Carrie worked with young children in professional group home setttings, and Carrie and her husband Josh were foster parents in Canada for several years.

We were delighted to hear that one of our clients shared our passion.  Two of our giving days focus on children and teens in care this year.

Have you considered fostering or advocacy, but are unsure what the requirements are or whether you would be a "good" advocate?  Don't worry - there is a screening process and mandatory education sessions required prior to placement - and continuing education available for those who find they have the heart required for supporting children through transition.   Check with your local agencies to see where you can help!  You don't need to be a foster parent to make a difference in a foster child's life!  Advocacy, respite care, Big Brothers and Sisters, and donations of the things that make life a little brighter for families are always needed! Movie tickets, sports or music lessons, tutors, gift cards, school supplies, new clothing - many of these things are out of the reach of many foster families.  Where can you help?  It's not too late to make donations of toys and gift cards to the many great organizations that support foster families through the holidays!