THE FOSTER CARE COMMUNITy
Mimi Bond is the founder of the Bond Team at Keller Williams Realty, and we are thrilled to introduce this community leader as a member of the Love Box program.
Mimi knows how impactful the Love Box program is for those experiencing foster care because both her husband and mom were adopted out of care. Their stories inspired her to team up with Austin Angels and purposefully give back to the community she works and lives in.
“What Austin Angels does is remarkable. It's truly setting the tone on how these kids’ lives will be in the future” says Mimi.
The Bond Team’s goal is to continue to serve their community and create a better future for children in foster care. By sharing about their journey, Mimi and her husband hope to encourage hope and see every single child loved on well.
With volunteers like The Bond Team, Austin Angels can support children, youth, and families in our community.
As Mimi said, “Not everyone is called to foster, not everyone is called to adopt, but we can all make a difference in a child’s life one way or another.”
Kris and her husband knew that supporting a family through the Love Box program was something they wanted to do, so they moved forward with the process and were matched with a family with five children. Kris shares, “Everything kind of started from there."
Shortly after being matched, Kris realized that not every month would look the same in terms of the support their family needed – "Some months they just might need a lot of snacks or board games, some months they might need time. Yesterday, for example, I took the two older kids for the afternoon to do some crafts, so the foster mom could have a little downtime while the young kids napped."
Love Box support can look like:
- Enrichment activities
- Encouraging notes
- Gift Cards/Gas Cards
- Household Supplies
- Meals and Groceries
- Clothes and Shoes
- Tutoring/Educational Support
...and so much more.
We believe that there is not a “one size fits all” solution to radically supporting children, youth, and families experiencing foster care, because everyone is different, and has unique interests and needs.
When Melanie and her team at Keller Williams Austin Northwest learned that 50% of the homeless population was in foster care at some point in their life, they knew they wanted to play a role in helping change that trajectory.
Melanie and her team have certainly made an impact––putting together hundreds of Love Boxes for fostering families in the greater Austin area and collecting school supplies for our back-to-school drive.
“I feel like it’s just our duty, and our privilege, and our honor to be able to give back to where we live, and I can’t think of a better cause than Austin Angels.”
Nate and Lindsey are foster and adoptive parents in our Love Box program.
Lindsey admits that being a foster parent gets lonely at times and to share this experience with their Love Box group means the world to them. They celebrate holidays together and have done many activities with the kids including kayaking, something that they would have never been able to do without their Love Box group.
"To have this family come alongside of us, whether it’s a phone call or a check-in, just the relationship that has been formed through our Love Box group has been incredible.”
One of Nate's favorite memories with their Love Box group was when they invited him, Lindsey, and their kiddos out to their cabin for the Fourth of July. They lit fireworks and were able to spend the night. Nate says "It was nice to have another family to do stuff with."
Nate and Lindsey's Love Box group has become their biggest cheerleaders by showing up every month to show support in any way they can. They allow the kids to go out and be active while also strengthening their friendship with Nate and Lindsey.
Meet Leslie and Jacquie, Love Box leaders since 2019. Both Leslie and Jacquie fell in love with the idea of the Love Box program right from the start - especially the fact that they would be able to build a relationship with the entire family.
“We loved that we would get to really be involved and not just always have to be behind the scenes.”
Leslie and Jacquie hoped to show the kids in their Love Box family that “there are a couple of other adults in their lives who care about them, and like to hear about them, and want to learn about them, and are thinking about them. Not just the two of us that get to be with the kids, but there’s a whole other group behind us that also care about them too.”
Though the support through most of 2020 was from afar, everyone is excited to spend time together again. Jacquie says, “They are appreciative, and at this point, it’s like meeting up with friends we know. We are going to get back to fun outings now that we are getting through the pandemic!”
For those who are interested in being a part of the Love Box program, but are nervous to take the leap, Leslie and Jacquie share, “We would highly recommend getting involved. It is so much fun, it’s so easy. You can do any level of involvement. It’s been really rewarding.”