CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A Tours For Hope event was held on Saturday that raises awareness for the Hope For One More foster care organization.
Hope For One More supports Hope Children's Home in Jackson as one of their programs. In addition to Hope Children's Home, Hope For One More has many additional foster care support and advocacy programs that provide services to foster children in the three-county area which include Cape Girardeau, Perry and Bollinger Counties.
They are needing more support with community volunteering and foster care advocacy. Hope For One More supports roughly 400 foster children in the three-county area.
The Tours For Hope event showcased six area community homes who opened their doors for tours for the organization. This allows the public to see and better understand the involvement and how a person can help the foster children.
"They are great homes. All very different," Hope for One More Paul Caruso said. "There's some unique floor plans and see some really interesting places."
We met with organizers at the Boat House in Cape Giradeau where they helped visitors better understand the importance of helping out the children in the foster program with this home tour event.
"Families are opening up their homes for people to come and see them and it really kind of mirrors what we do in foster care," Caruso stated. "We are asking families to open up their homes for a child or a sibling group in order to show those kids a safe and caring environment and to let them know that this community cares about them."
Area Properties Real Estate's Becky Harding said their organization joined together with Red Letter Communications and First Missouri State Bank to host this event and help spread the word about the area foster program.
"A lot of the people in the community don't know what all goes into foster care," Harding said. "A lot of it has to do with educating the public. It is a way for people to come into people's homes, enjoy a day, enjoy the homes but it is also a way that we can give information about what Hope for One More does."
Crissy Mayberry, Hope For One More Executive Director and Foster Parent Advocate, said it's important for everyone to be aware what is going on with the foster care system and the children.
"Sometimes the outcomes for children in foster care are not very good," Mayberry said. "That is because there is a huge lack of community support. All it takes to change those is the community coming together to support children in foster care and foster families."
Mayberry stated that 30,000 children age out of foster care every year. Less than half of those children obtain a high school degree, 25 percent are homeless immediately and a lot of these foster kids, that become adults, will make up over 75 percent of the population in jail.
Mayberry also stated that their organization is entirely funded by community support and donations from the community.
"There is not any state money involved in our contracts," Mayberry added. "We are able to do what we do based on the generous community that we live in.
If you would like more information on the Hope for One More organization, click here.