...they make BIG things happen!
Remember that stretch of hot weather we had in June? Well, the week before the heat dome descended, Love Box members Jason & Shelli of Morningstar Services rallied 6 volunteers to spend 4 days fixing a roof for a deserving foster family in Port Angeles.
This foster family has cared for 70 children!
70 CHILDREN - teenagers, mostly.
Through deeper questions, it came up that a storm several weeks prior had badly damaged the roof. Buckets were catching water while they saved for repairs and waited for drier weather to tackle the project.
Volunteers Shelli & Jason, their teenage son, the foster family and friends joined together to see this project through, even when it got much more involved than expected. And did we mention the HEAT?
Thomas Building Center donated materials, MorningStar Services donated professional services and expertise, and volunteers donated an extraordinary amount of time. Love Box Volunteers and their friend & family felt empowered to make a difference and took the radical initiative to strengthen the roof above another family's head. This is what community-supported foster care looks like!
An interview with LOve Box volunteer, Shelli:
1. How did the roofing project happen? How did you discover this need, and how did you figure out how to pull it all off?!
Our Love Box group had been through a placement change, so we “followed” our boys to a new foster family. This family has been faithfully doing foster care work for years but had never heard of Olympic Angels. Our Love Box Leader reached out to them to see how we could support them and one thing they mentioned was that their roof was leaking into the bedrooms and desperately needed to be replaced.
This was brought up at our next meeting, where two of our gentlemen members knew all about roofing! These two awesome guys (Cliff and Jason, my husband) talked it out, while another member (Quinn) offered to get the supplies at discounted rates. The only real difficulty was timing; you need a good week of dry weather, so the project had to be in the planning stage until summer came. Other generous people in the group gave financially so the final roof was definitely a team effort. Lastly, we had friends and family who wanted to assist, which was a huge help.
2. How has being a part of a Love Box changed your life?
Jason and I (Shelli) have done foster care in the past and for various reasons have chosen not to be licensed anymore. However, we both have a huge desire to help these kids and give them what love we can. (We’re Christians, so we just want to be like Jesus!)
Being in the Love Box has been such a blessing because we’ve been able to give and help without feeling overwhelmed. Most people can’t do foster care…it’s just too huge a commitment. But being in a Love Box is a fantastic way to collaborate with others to make a positive impact.
3. What sort of difference do you think it made for the family? Imagining having a load like that literally lifted off their shoulders, really enabling them to focus on parenting their kids even more - is just amazing!
The parents of the family were so grateful. Because they both worked and fostered numerous teens with hectic schedules, I’m sure they were thankful for just someone to take care of this for them. From our experience with foster parenting, we knew that often projects like these were difficult financially and moreover, just time-consuming and mental-energy sapping. I hope that we lightened their burden so they had one less thing to worry about!
4. What is your relationship like with the other Love Box members?
They are simply wonderful! We truly enjoy the meetings held at Quinn’s DW (the name of her house!). I think we all share the same goal: to love these kids and give them all we can. It’s a very caring, fun-loving group. Most of us share the same faith, too.
5. What is your relationship like with the kids you support?
The kids we did support have been re-unified with a parent and have moved out of the area. That is bittersweet, for sure. Most of the team members had spent time with them and taken them on outings, had them over, or had filled their love boxes with special things (that was our sweet Patty). I personally met with them to tutor them, and we had such fun! These kids are still on our hearts, and we’re thinking of ways to stay in touch with them.
But for now, we’re all looking forward to a new family to help!