By Stephanie Carroll
I recently received a call from a local foster care worker who has been sending kids to Youth Haven for quite a long time. She asked, “I know you guys are completely full for this upcoming weekend and it is just a few days away... but is there any way you can squeeze in just one more girl?” She then gave me the background on this little girl. She told me this girl was pulled from her home due to abuse and neglect, just a couple of days ago. She was placed in a brand new home full of strangers and unfamiliar surroundings. The family she was placed with already had some other foster children attending Youth Haven that very weekend.
We welcomed this little girl to Youth Haven with open arms, as we do with every child who attends. As it turns out, her 13th birthday was that same weekend, so our amazing programming team made her day extra special. Our cook baked her a cake, the entire camp sang to her, and we gave her a brand new backpack full of things a 13-year-old girl would love: nail polish, accessories, cute school supplies, fuzzy socks, a blanket, etc.
Here’s the best part of the story: with teary eyes, she thanked everyone and said, “A lot of these gifts you gave me were things I had to leave behind when I was taken away. Thank you so much.”
That is the reason we do what we do at Youth Haven! Generous donors provided the funds for this very deserving child to attend free of charge, and we were able to show her how loved she is. She learned that God is always with her, no matter where she goes or how alone she might feel. And she went back to her new foster home with a Bible, known as the Youth Haven Trailbook, so she can continue to read about God’s love for her.
This is just one of thousands of stories of children whose lives have been touched by Youth Haven. Week after week, for 50 years, God has been using friends like you to show His love to kids who are hurting. Thank you!