May 29, 2009
OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - The needs of foster children often go unnoticed. It's an issue we're taking a look at this week as Foster Care Awareness Month comes to an end. A new non-profit organization in Opelika is fostering hope for local families.
Michael and Angie Brown say raising foster children has been blessing, but there's a lot of sacrifice involved. "It keeps us young and moving, and on the go a little bit," Michael Brown, a foster parent said. "When we did take in this group it was a change for us to be able to have a lot less free time," he added.
Foster families like the Browns will soon receive some help. A new non-profit organization in Opelika called The Big House Foundation is just getting off the ground. Brown's daughter Micah Melnick is the founder of the organization. It will soon be housed in a historic Opelika mansion. "It's a very warm and welcoming place they can be a part of," Melnick said.
The foundation is reaching out to the community to help tend to the educational and financial needs of more than 50 foster children in Lee County. "We want to do art lessons, music, sports, dance, tutoring. Those will be programs we want to have set up as an after-school program for the kids," the founder said.
"It's mission statement is very relevant to what the needs of these kids are, to provide for the kids things that normal kids have," Brown said. It's a mission to foster community support for children in a very big way. "When they come into foster care we want to provide support from the community that says your worth our time, your worth our love, we want to hang out with you," Melnick said.