It Takes a Village…
To take the best possible care of kids, it does take a village; a community. A community who understands your mission and wants to help further it. Lucky for the Necco of Albany office, their community supports are plenty.
Lisa Spears, foster parent with Necco of Albany, formed a relationship with Necco after meeting so many Necco foster kids though her job. Lisa worked for an agency that provided therapies to many of Necco's foster children. Serving the foster children of Necco is actually what started her and her husband's journey into foster care. After adopting their daughter, Precious, Lisa and her husband, Jason, wanted to give back to the team who helped them build their family. Lisa spoke with Jason and the church about ways that they can use their resources to help them further Necco's mission of building families. And from there, their generosity just grew and grew. Being a foster parent with Necco, Lisa and Jason knew how hard it was for the Albany office to have enough space to host their annual Christmas dinner for all of the foster families, let alone purchase presents for every child to open. With a generous heart, the Spears and Providence Church stepped up and offered assistance with both.
For the last three years, Providence Church has been hosting a catered dinner for all foster families. The congregation purchases the presents that the kids receive the evening of the Christmas party. The party is even complete with a Santa to be there for all of the kids to have their picture taken with him!
As if making Christmas bright for all the Necco kids wasn’t enough, Providence Church went a step further to be supportive to our kids year round. The church provides and hosts birthday parties at local venues for every child in Necco’s care. Every child. What’s more, the children get to choose the theme of their birthday party. Jason and Lisa know how important ceremony and ritual is to a child’s sense of stability and belonging. So they thought, what better way to foster that than to host the celebration itself!
And this year, Providence Church hosted its first annual Hearts and Heroes 5k and fun run. Members of the church and Necco employees volunteered their time to make this race a success! Jason Spears preached about his past life, being adopted, adoption his daughter Precious and his need to support other kids who are in foster care.
Brynn Copron has been employed with Providence Church for several years. A strong advocate for the foster children in the Necco program, Brynn considers it a “privilege” to be involved with Necco’s mission. “We instantly felt a connection. Necco is a family, these kids are their family and we have the opportunity to love them. They let us love them. It doesn’t feel like an organization. It feels like a family.”
Jessica Broughton has also been employed with Providence Church for several years. She shares how thankful she is to have a partnership with Necco. “I feel like the greatest part of our partnership is that it is the perfect meshing our two organizations. Necco allows us to do our own thing but are always there for whatever we do for the kids. We love Necco. I couldn’t imagine our partnership being with any other organization.”
Stacy Nguyen of Enchanted Nails heard about Necco though a friend and was moved to donate. "We normally donate; it is a time of giving. My friend, Kristin Bratcher, told me about Necco and I read about it. I heard about the foster kids and how the holidays are hard. I think everyone deserves a good Christmas. We want to share with everyone; pass our blessings."
And if the team thought that the giving stopped there, they were mistaken. A week before Christmas, Shawn Walters, the manager of Locos Restaurant in Albany, handed over $500 to the team's kids fund! Necco of Albany has been amazed at the outpouring of support they have received from their community members. Meghan Mabrey, Home Resource Coordinator, got a little emotional when she explained the extent of the donations and support her team has received. "I cannot tell you how grateful we are for this relationship. Every time I think about all our kids have been given, I get a little teary-eyed."
The Necco of Albany Team would like to add a little verbiage to the old cliche "It takes a village to raise a child". Because, sometimes it takes a church and a nail salon, and a restaurant too.
*Want to know more about Jason and Lisa's story of adopting Precious? Click here to read the full story.