Support Us

Ribbon Cutting and Open House

Our village of volunteers and generous community members have been busy creating the most inviting and welcoming space for the children who visit our Oak Haven resource center in Dripping Springs! We want every child who walks through our doors to feel dignified and valued. 

We would love for you to join us and take a tour of this innovative new facility that the community has created!

Please RSVP at the event link on our Facebook page Here!

 

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Oh What a Night!

On February 8th, we were joined by 140 wonderful Foster Village supporters for our inaugural 'Gala With a Twist'. The event was hosted at High 5 in Lakeway and our theme was Black-Tie Bowling. We managed to merge the importance of sharing our mission while incorporating a child-like twist on the traditional gala.
Thanks to the generosity of the guests, sponsors, silent auction donors, volunteers, and cheerleaders who faithfully rallied this village of support for our most vulnerable neighbors, we raised over $30,000!
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Special guests and Foster Village Founding Partners included NFL player Phil Dawson and former NFL player and UT coach, Michael Huff. Phil's wife, Shannon, shared her story as an adoptee and child welfare advocate in a moving call-to-action speech during dinner.

Nick and Chrystal Smith, Foster Village founders, shared highlights and stories of some of the 700+ children that Foster Village supported in 2017 as well as the organization's goals moving forward.

We also had an impactful on-the-spot testimonial shared by an inspiring foster mom of 7 children who has been personally supported by the work of Foster Village.

Some of our sponsors pledged an additional $100 per strike bowled by our guests and $50 per gutter ball (ha!), which kept things fun and competitive! The 'black-tie optional' theme also added lots of smiles to the evening since it's not everyday that we get to dress in tuxedos and act like kids while supporting an important cause :)

We are so grateful for our community partners and guests for making this event a success and we are already looking forward to doing it again next year!

Sponsors included Novl, Austin Ridge Bible Church, Solutions Pharmacy, Stone House Ranch, Superior Health Plan, Andrea Parker with Keller Williams, Moody Orthodontics, Smith Wealth Management Group TX, and Putonti Law Firm. In addition, there were many local silent auction donors including: Wanderin' Star Farms, Treaty Oak, Liney Moon, Your Biker Gang, Todd Whipple, Verdes, Zip Lost Pine, Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza, Vintage Soul, Walt Smith for County Commissioner, LockTite Storage, Carol Mogen, Cat Miller, the Piazza Center, Hat Creek Burger, Urban Mattress, Waller Creek Pub, Yonder Way Farm, Jessica Putonti, Fairmont Hotel, Fixe Austin, Kendra Scott, and High Five Events Center. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us!! 

Exciting News!

We are beyond thrilled to announce that God has provided a new 'home base' for Foster Village that will allow us to keep up with the 500+ requests that we are working to meet annually for children in crisis. This property in Dripping Springs will be used as a first-of-it’s-kind resource center for children in foster care and their families. A haven where the community can serve and wrap around its most vulnerable citizens in a meaningful way.

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When children come into foster care with just the clothes on their backs, foster parents and kinship caregivers will be able to bring them here to pick out all of the items they need in a dignified way (clothes, beds, car seats, toys, etc). We are also working with CPS to make it a place where children in foster care can have visitations with their parents and/or siblings in a more home-like environment and an alternative option for the local children who currently need to spend hours in the car each week to get to the nearest visitation location. A neutral environment where they can cook a meal together, climb trees, practice life skills, and have mentors equip them with helpful tools that will give these children and families a better chance of beating the overwhelming odds stacked against them. It will also serve as an occasional safe haven for a child to stay overnight with his/her caseworker while waiting for the right foster home, rather than children sleeping in a CPS office.

Child welfare stakeholders from around the U.S. are already taking notes on how this Foster Village model could improve some of the ways we care for children entering foster care. This groundbreaking alternative will take an 'all hands on deck' approach to be successful- we would love your support to make this possible! We will be sharing more volunteer opportunities, updates, and news about our upcoming Black Tie Bowling fundraiser. Your time and contributions, however big or small, have gotten us this far and we are grateful to have each of you on this exciting journey with us. 

Help For Children Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

In the days following the devastation that our state experienced due to the massive Hurricane Harvey, we put out a simple call to action to help our neighbors. What started as a simple Amazon wish list of basic necessities for these children and families, turned into a mountain of generosity from around the world. Thousands of items were purchased from that wish list. Truckload after truckload of beds, car seats, socks, gift cards, underpants, diapers, and other resources poured in with thoughtful notes of encouragement from near and far, including Qatar, Italy, and Denmark!

We had the privilege of delivering these desperately needed items to DFPS offices and directly to several foster and kinship families who lost everything.  Dozens of volunteers stepped up to help us sort, haul, and distribute. 

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 These unsung UPS heroes made sure every package got to us as quickly as possible, even renting a moving truck to bring a couple of the loads. This is just one of those deliveries!

These unsung UPS heroes made sure every package got to us as quickly as possible, even renting a moving truck to bring a couple of the loads. This is just one of those deliveries!

 And the high-quality children's clothing line, Tea Collection, donated 26 large boxes of their brand new clothes toward our efforts. Children who lost everything will now have wonderful, long lasting clothes thanks to this awesome business who stepped up to give back to the community. 

And the high-quality children's clothing line, Tea Collection, donated 26 large boxes of their brand new clothes toward our efforts. Children who lost everything will now have wonderful, long lasting clothes thanks to this awesome business who stepped up to give back to the community. 

We have been so moved and encouraged by what this community was able to accomplish in such a short time. It gives us tremendous hope for our children in crisis knowing that there is a village standing by, ready to fill the needs!

Thank you again to everyone who contributed donations and their time toward this effort!

If you are a foster family who was impacted by the hurricane and you are in need of basic necessities, please contact us at info@fostervillageaustin.org

Foster Parent's Night Out!

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Foster parents, we know how hard it can be to secure approved childcare for your little ones. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Austin Ridge Bible Church in Southwest Austin to provide free childcare opportunities throughout the year. 

Our next Foster Parent's Night Out is scheduled for September 16th from 5pm-8pm. Space will be limited, so be sure to sign up early! Dinner and activities will be provided for all of the kiddos. 

VOLUNTEERS, we would love for you to join us for this event! There is a link to sign-up for you as well. Background checks will be required. 

 

Please email us at info@fostervillageaustin.org with any questions!

Wise Words from one of our seasoned foster mamas...

One of the sweet foster families who we have had the privilege of walking alongside shared these thoughts with us to pass along to new foster families stepping into the uncertain world of foster care. Simple and important thoughts to keep in mind based on this family's experience while fostering. We can all learn something from those who walked before us.

 

'What I wish I knew before fostering…..

 

When my husband and I felt God calling us to adopt or foster, we were really excited. A new child! We were excited to be a part of God’s plan. Fast forward to day two of our emergency placement. Okay, the first 5 hours. “Next time God calls, don’t answer.” Really. We knew going into it that it would be hard, but we didn't know it would be THIS HARD. I mean, we'd had training, home visits, medical tests, fingerprints—we couldn't be more prepared, could we? Actually, no.  And yes. People prepare for their first child, and then discover there's a lot you can't prepare for—just like fostering.  Some of it is truly on the job training. Below is my “wish I would’ve known” list.

 

  • Ask for help. Ask for help. Ask for help. The foster agency, CASA, child’s attorney, and CPS are all available to help along the journey. ASK.

 

  • You handle what you can handle. The agency will ask if you can handle a lot of different types of children. Be honest. It's not a popularity contest—tell them what you can really handle. Of course they'd love for you to take on 5 kids with special needs, but if you can help one child in “basic care”--that's one child who is safe. God doesn’t need you to save all the children, he needs you to help with the child or children He's chosen for YOU.

 

  • Document Everything. Use the “notes” app for ease.

 

  • God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. I’m borrowing that line from our pastor (thanks Brad!), bears repeating.  Daily.

 

  • Therapy is vital for your foster child. It not only makes a difference for them—it helps your bio family. If your child receives Medicaid, the foster parent is allowed to see the child's therapist under that insurance. This can be a life changing resource to learn more about your child, and help your family.

 

  • Strong marriage required. CAUTION. Challenges ahead.

 

  • Foster your bio family. Whatever you give to your family won't be enough. Ouch. Sorry, but it won't. And no matter how many times you tell your bio kids you love them and you're working hard to make things better, it’s still hard.

 

  • Smell test? You know how your mom could smell the truth? So can you! If someone tells you something that isn't right—question it. (Yes, you're allowed to question authority.)

 

  • Give yourself a break. This is hard. Really hard.

 

  • God chose you for this ministry for a reason. Whether you foster one child, help with respite care or foster many children. HE has the plan.'

Thank you for these wise words, Kimberly!

 

Parent's Night Out!

Calling all foster parents!

We know how hard it can be to arrange childcare when it comes to the process involved in getting approved babysitters for kids in foster care. So we've partnered with Austin Ridge Bible Church Southwest to give you a night off on April 29th. Space is limited so reserve your spots now. Siblings are welcome to join us!

Fiesta Fundraiser Success!

Last weekend we were humbled and encouraged to have over 100 guests gather to show their support for Foster Village and the families we aim to serve. We enjoyed a Fiesta-Valentine theme with Verde's Mexican Parrilla taco bar, mariachi by Mariachi Amor, a fun photo booth and cupcake bar by Cupcake Social, and several amazing raffle baskets full of awesome prizes donated by local businesses and artisans.

We were able to hear a first-hand experience from a local foster family who Foster Village has had the privilege of wrapping around, as well hear from another former foster family who struggled without the kind of community support we work toward creating. Several foster parents were able to join us through donated tickets by the community (thank you!) and we saw a beautiful mingling of foster parents and compassionate community members with a desire to do their part in being the change needed in our current foster system crisis.

Our goal for the evening was to raise awareness and hopefully raise needed funds for our Welcome Pack and Project SOOTHe programs. We were blown away by the generosity and willingness to fill the gaps for these children and families. Over $10,000 was raised that night, including a year of monthly commitments that many folks stepped up for! We are so excited to put these funds to work for our local children and families in the trenches of foster care.

So far this year, we are receiving at least 5-10 requests weekly for basic necessities for children entering foster care. We are also seeing an increase in awareness and requests for therapeutic items like weighted blankets and infant carriers. It will take a village of resources to meet all of these needs and we are extraordinarily grateful to all of you willing to join us in this effort!

Lastly, this is a bit of Dena Dupuie's story that she shared with us at the event. She and her husband own Hope Realty Texas and are so passionate about our mission that they generously stepped up to sponsor the evening. They've also offered to donate 10% of their commission on homes sold through Foster Village referrals, so keep them in mind if you're in need of realtors with a heart in the Austin area. We are so grateful for their partnership and commitment to our cause...

Our foster journey began in 2008 when our now adopted daughter, Brianna, arrived on our doorstep at the tender age of 14 months. Brianna had suffered a traumatic brain injury from being violently shaken. Little did we know that our future path would be to take in special needs children. While being a foster parent is very rewarding it is also complicated and difficult. One year we took in an emergency placement for a 12 month old who had Reactive Attachment Disorder, a heartbreaking and challenging condition that is especially challenging as a caretaker. He arrived with nothing in his possession. No clothes, food, or toys. We only had a 1 hour notice that he was coming. It was a chaotic transition and it took at least a week for us to get the essentials. We would have been so blessed to have Foster Village on our team back then.
If we had had Foster Village to wrap their arms around us and provide therapeutic support we would have been better equipped to help our special needs foster child. The services Foster Village provides are essential and they are a total blessing to those who care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.
— Dena Dupuie

Photo Credit: Cesar E. Lopez Linares (University of Texas Journalism)

This event would not have been possible without the help and generosity of so many. Here are some of the awesome local businesses and individuals who made our event such a success:

Wanderin' Star Farms, The Piazza Center, Epicure, Locomotion Inflatable Play, Dripping Springs Chocolate Company, Blushing Belle Beauty Bar, Private Chef Crystal Reinwald, Austin Dental Care, Hope Realty Texas, LockTite Storage, Avrey Grace Boutique, Austin Apothecary, Farrar Lindler, Cupcake Social Events, Mariachi Amore, Verdes Mexican Parilla, Barrett & Richelle Criswell, Level 2 Promotions, Trey Powers, The Violet Room Austin, Austin Wood & Metal, Art by Meena Motocha, Megan Wilky, Happy Home Austin, and The House of Austin. 

If you were not able to make it to the event but you have a desire to join our mission to bring support and resources to our local children and families in the child welfare system, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at info@fostervillageaustin.org for information on our monthly partnership program.

Valentine Fiesta Fundraiser

Taco 'bout a fun night!
Grab your valentine and amigos and join us for a private party event at Verde's Mexican Parrilla!
Tickets include access to an all-inclusive taco bar and 2 drink tickets (margaritas, beer, wine, and soft drinks), mariachi entertainment, and a 'kissing booth' for a photo keepsake with your Valentine. We'll also be raffling off some unbeatable raffle baskets- stayed tuned for sneak peeks!
Space is limited, so get your tickets early. Guests must be over 21.
All proceeds go toward meeting the needs of local foster families and at-risk children in our community.

Tickets can be purchased on our Facebook page! Link below.