As a social worker, I spent many years helping foster children. Along with the numerous other duties that go along with serving our foster children population, my work included:
- completing home studies for adoptions
- placing children
- training and licensing foster parents
During my years completing these tasks and helping OUR community’s Foster Children through New Hanover County Department of Social Services and other counties, I always noticed how these children never did many of the “normal” activities that other children and I got to do as a child. For example, take piano, take karate classes, go to camps, and so on. But, it went deeper than that … I discovered that most of these children’s emotions were also a level below because they KNEW that these things existed but never could dream to make it reality!
When I decided to do a career change from Social Work, I became a REALTOR. The years at the agency had made me wonder, “Why doesn’t anyone donate monies so HAPPY things could change here instead of the usual not-too-happy things for these children?” After much prayer concerning my health and other factors, it was time for me to do this to not only be able to do the best job at whatever I was doing but to be safe, as well. This is when (because of my LOVE for these children) Bobby Jean’s Kids … my personal charity sprang to life!
- One child was selected out of the entire New Hanover County School district to sing the National Anthem at an Atlanta Braves game. This child had never been out of Wilmington and was selected for this once-in-a-lifetime experience! Of course, she went with Bobby Jean’s Kids monies.
- Another child wanted to play soccer but was unable to participate due to bowel/bladder problems. Bobby Jean’s Kids monies purchased a special mobile toilet which enabled him to participate and you can see an increase in his self-esteem!
- Another child never smiled and was not succeeding in school … she had the regular braces the system paid for, but needed special braces for her front teeth. Bobby Jean’s Kids paid for this and I am happy to report she now smiles ALL the time and makes good grades!
- Many children wanting to go to the prom … needed the special dress …. Bobby Jean’s Kids paid for these dresses and accessories.
- Many children graduating from High School …. wanted to get a few extra things like a high school ring (many Foster children do not go to college) …. Bobby Jean’s Kids paid for these.
- An older sister (age 19, works full-time) with abusive parents and 3 younger siblings … In order to prevent the siblings from going into a foster home and to keep the family together by allowing them to move in with her … Bobby Jean’s Kids paid for all the children’s uniforms needed for school, as well as providing the big sister some monies to get a new outfit!