FROM THE MIDLAND REPORTER-TELEGRAM:
A matching grant from the Abell-Hanger Foundation will double donations made to Buckner Children and Family Services this year. The foundation awarded Buckner a dollar-for-dollar matching grant up to $50,000 to support the nonprofit’s foster care program.
More than 1,000 children in the Permian Basin were in the foster care system in 2014 after being removed from their homes, according to Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. And a lack of foster families means many of those children are placed with families outside of the Permian Basin.
“Over 50 percent of the kids that are removed from the homes in this area are taken out of the region,” said Myndi Easter, Buckner gift officer for the Permian Basin.
Easter said Buckner and other groups have been working together in recent years to recruit more local foster families, and she hopes the grant will give Buckner and its supporters the opportunity to spark more conversations about foster care in the community.
“We do work closely with other agencies doing the same thing to try to keep as many children in the area as we can,” Easter said.
Donations will go to the general fund to care for foster children and families, which covers recruitment and training for families and care for children in the foster care system.
“It will go to direct care of the children — medical needs, counseling needs, clothing, all of the things that it takes to care for those kids,” Easter said. “We don’t fundraise for salaries or overhead, so it’s a really awesome thing to say that 100 percent of the money goes to these kids.”
Money raised will also allow Buckner to serve more children and provide more resources for foster families in the area. The nonprofit, which also provides transitional housing for single parents and children through its Buckner Family Place, has been in the Permian Basin since 1996. Donations for the matching grant will be accepted through Dec. 31 at buckner.org/midlandmatch.
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