ROANOKE, Va. – We have great news about 30 Days of Hope.
We featured 31 children this year and had an overwhelming response!
More people than ever reached out to DePaul Community Resources, in the third year WSLS 10 has featured this series.
Shannon Shepherd is an adoption specialist and supervisor for Depaul who says they’ve had at least 600 emails and more than 80 phone calls from people asking about how to foster and adopt the children we’ve shown you this year. Calls came from all over the country and some international ones too including Australia and Canada.
“The reaction has been absolutely phenomenal. We have been blown away by the response,” said Shepherd.
Sharing these stories on social media with your family and friends has been huge too.
A family in Kentucky called and after Shannon talked with them, they signed up for foster parent training in January there.
“The kids on the 30 Days of Hope, there are kids just like that in every single state across the United States. I encouraged them to look in Kentucky. You can adopt across state lines but it takes a little bit longer, it is a little more complicated process,” said Shepherd. “That was really exciting for me that we’re helping other states find homes for kids.”
She knows how important it is to have family because she grew up in foster care and was then adopted.
“It has just made a world of difference for us that when our mother was no longer able to care for us someone was able to step in and care for us. From my own experience there’s just no way to tell you how important it is for these kids to have a family, to have someone to love and care for them each and every day. And as an adult to have family that you can go to to celebrate Christmas with and celebrate your triumphs and challenges. We never get too old to need a family,” said Shepherd.
Shannon says these stories have also moved people to help in other ways.
“We’ve had a college student who’s asked if they can volunteer in our office. We’ve had people who emailed who said ‘This child wants to be a police officer, I’m a deputy. They can come to my house and visit my horses.’” said Shepherd.
She says you can always volunteer and most agencies always need donations of basic hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner.
There are more than 700 children who are ready for foster to adoption in Virginia. They are ready to find a permanent and loving forever family. 10 News is profiling one child who needs a home every day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in 30 Days of Hope. The children are all ages and races and were put into foster care due to no fault of their own. 2019 marks the third year 10 News is doing this series.