BY JACLYN ROSE –
On Friday, February 19, 2016, a little over 100 members of Polk County met at the National Guard Armory in Mena to officially launch The CALL in Polk County. The CALL, an Arkansas organization that was founded in Pulaski County in 2007, with the purpose of recruiting, training and supporting foster families in Arkansas, has now created individual organizations in 37 Arkansas Counties and as of September 2015, has assisted in opening 1,185 foster homes in Arkansas.
The CALL operates under their guiding verse, James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father considers pure and undefiled is this: to care for the widows and orphans in their distress…” Currently 15 churches in Polk County are actively involved in The CALL with hopes that many more will join in the future.
The Launch brought together both volunteers and those interested in opening their homes to those foster children waiting in Arkansas. Alicen Bennet from the Division of Children and Family Services shared the positive impact and the importance of The CALL in the foster system. A barbeque dinner donated by a local business was served while the crowd heard the details, purpose and goals of The Call in Polk County.
“The Launch Event for The CALL Polk County exceeded our expectations! I was especially blessed by the number of local congregations represented and church Leaders in attendance. Caring for orphans in times of distress is distinctly Christian and one way we can work together as the body of Christ to make a difference in the lives of Polk County children,” said Keith Rose, Advisory Board Chair of The CALL in Polk County. “I was honestly very pleased with the number of people who turned out and the amount of interest shown since the launch. I think a lot of people did not realize the need that we have in Polk County for foster homes. I spoke with the young man from the National Guard who was there opening the building for us and he said, ‘man, that was awesome!’ “I had no idea there was such a need in this area! I think it’s great that this is opening people’s eyes,” added Tim Kiser who works with fundraising for The CALL in Polk County. “We were thrilled with the turnout and community interest at the launch and are so grateful to the National Guard donating the use of their armory and for Jason Goodner who donated his time and smoked the wonderful meat for the BBQ. We are continually amazed by the support we’ve seen so far in Polk County and the passion people have for the children in need of foster homes. We are looking forward to our first informational meeting and moving forward in recruiting and opening foster homes and then finding ways we can help support them,” said Jennifer Brewer, County Coordinator.
With the official launch completed, the work of The CALL in Polk County can officially begin and the first informational meeting is set to be held at Grace Bible Church in Mena on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm. This meeting will provide families with information about what it is to be a foster/adoptive parent. They will be able to ask questions and then begin the sign up process and even start the background check process. The meeting is also open to those who are interested, not just in becoming a foster parent, but in volunteering to support those foster parents through the work of The CALL in Polk County.
For more information please contact Jennifer Brewer by phone at 479.234.2398 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.