The Children Hike4Kids is Helping
Michael will be dedicating every 100 miles of his hike to a different child. The first few hundred miles have been dedicated to Connor. Connor is a very special child who thanks to the Family Resource Center (FRC) has found happiness.
Connor is non-verbal, has mental impairment, and relies on a caregiver for his daily needs. He has been in the care of Michelle for approximately four years. Michelle goes above and beyond for Connor. She has given Connor 24 hour care and a warm home. The best part of this relationship is, Connor is LOVED. Donna, a FRC foster care manager, had the opportunity to help Connor and his Foster Mom when she testified in court and helped Michelle get full custody of Connor. Michael is hiking the Applachian trail so kids like Connor can continue to be placed in a safe Foster home and will always know that they are loved.
Chris and his four siblings came to the Family Resource Center (FRC) from an abusive household. Michael is dedicating the next 100 miles of his grueling hike to Chris so that children do not have to go through this ever again.
Without FRC who knows where Chris would be today. The FRC first came into contact with Chris when he was just 5 years old. He and his 4 siblings, ages 2 months to 7 years, were found by a FRC case manager. When the case manager got to their home she saw that all of the children had a bad case of head lice and were physically beaten. However, Chris was the most traumatized psychologically. When the FRC placed Chris in a foster home he was threatening to take his own life. It is very difficult to imagine a young child so emotionally and physically abused that he did not want to live anymore. Needless to say, the foster parents were very scared for Chris and had him hospitalized for his own safety. Chris was hospitalized for about a month and when he came home he was taking six different medications and still had problems. The therapist he was seeing thought that Chris may not be able to live in a foster home and the foster parents thought it might also be best for him to be placed elsewhere. However, it was watching Cardinals baseball with his foster father that helped Chris bond with his new family. Chris' foster mom thought that “Cardinal baseball flipped some kind of switch in Chris and we got to see the lovely little boy that was hiding inside.”
Today, Chris is doing a lot better. He is a very smart child and is now only taking one medication. Please check back often as Michael progresses along the Appalachian as we will continue to highlight stories of other children helped by the Family Resource Center including Chris’ sister Ariel.
Michael is hiking the Appalachain trail so that children like Dawn will not have to “couch hop” and do drugs but instead can have a future thanks to the Family Resouce Center.
Dawn came to the FRC when she was just 14 years old after she had been living on the street. Dawn, whose mother was a heroin addict, came home one day only to find out that she had been locked out and her mother had left. Matt, a FRC Supervisor, placed Dawn in a residential facility to assist her with some of the issues she was facing. As soon as it was possible, Matt placed Dawn with her Father and Stepmom. However, Dawn was unhappy with her new living situation.
When Dawn was 18 years old, she came to Matt and had little aspirations for her future. Matt advised her that the path she was headed on was not going to lead to happiness. Unfortunately there was only so much Matt could do and Dawn decided to go against Matt's suggestions.
Six months later, Dawn returned to the FRC with a lined face and a bruised body. It was effident to Matt that Dawn had been using drugs and doing whatever it took to get them. However, he was still there for her and told her that when she was ready he could help. The FRC allows it's employees to go above and beyond for their children and that is what Matt did. He contacted a program director that provided college scholarships for the children at the FRC.
At first, Dawn was hesitant to take Matt's help, but she eventually came around and attended drug treament. The FRC was able to provide her with the help she needed to get ready for college and set her up in a college dorm with expenses paid by the scholarship. Dawn is currently doing very well in her second year of college.
The Family Resource Center provides a wonderful service to young children who may not of had many options for their life. Michael and Brooke have started Hike4kids so that children like Dawn can have the opportunities to live their dreams.
Dante had been on an emotional and difficult journey. When he was three, the Family Resource Center (FRC) found him with scars all of his body. Dante had been a victim of extreme abuse from his mother. He was whipped, slashed and had horrible cigarette burns marking his skin. The physical abuse that he had endured also had strong effects to his emotional development. Feeling like no one loved him and that he was not wanted, Dante was defiant and acted out against adults.
When his two sisters found foster homes, Dante was still struggling with bad behavior that made finding a foster home for him difficult. Unfortunately, Dante was placed in a children's facility and not a foster home. However, He did well and was able to take medication to control his tantrums while working closely with therapists to overcome his trauma. When Dante was 7, he was placed with a foster family and they began the process of adoption. However, another tradgedy in Dante's life would put the adoption process to a hault.
While Dante was playing ball outside with his close friend, he hit his friend in the chest with the ball pretty hard, so hard that his friend died. The police got involved and Dante began to spiral out of control again. Feeling like no one would ever love him before, this situation made Dante feel like his future foster family and case worker would see that he was not worth loving.
When an autopsy was done on Dante's friend, it proved that it was a freakish accident and not an issue of malice. However, Dante struggled to get over what would be the second trauma in the first seven years of his life. Forward a year later, the Family Resource Center stood by Dante and helped him recover a second time.
Today, Dante is living in a permanent loving foster home. He seems to have recovered emotionally and when the judge granted his foster parents custody, everyone in the courtroom was thinking “Dante's journey has ended with a loving home”.
Jackie was upset and mad at the world. She had a reputation within the Family Resource Center's Parents Anonymous group as being very hostile if she felt anyone threatened her child. The FRC tried to get Jackie to open up during a group session, but it took a little of a year before she began to tell her story.
With tears streaming down her face, Jackie told the story of how she wound up at the Family Resource Center. At 16 years of age, Jackie gave birth to her first baby girl. Soon after the baby was born, Jackie got a job to support her family while the baby's Father agreed to take care of the child while she worked. Jackie felt that everything was in place in her life with a good job and a beautiful baby. However, one day while Jackie was at work, she got a very startling call. Her baby was in the hospital. Jackie rushed to the hospital to find her newborn burned from acid that had been poured on her body by the Father's Aunt. To make matters worse, the hospital prevented Jackie from touching or holding her baby at all. Not knowing if her daughter would survive, Jackie vowed that she would never trust anyone again.
Jackie would come a long way emotionally in the time following with the support of the Family Resource Center. Her daughter survived and today, Jackie is an advocate for parents who face similar difficult situations. She tells her story over and over again to new members of the group and describes to them how the Family Resource Center allowed her to heal and to be able to trust again.