On behalf of everyone at the Foster Angels of South Texas Foundation, we would like to thank each and every one of our donors for your continued support. Because of your loyalty and commitment to our mission, so far this year we've helped more than 1,000 foster children! We’ve provided them with food, hygiene products, clothing, school supplies, art/music/dance lessons, prom/graduation expenses, birthday parties, bicycles, computers/printers, text books, dorm fees, summer camp fees and so much more! None of these things can happen though without the love that comes with each donation. Your help gives hope to children in foster care each and every day! Thank you once again for your generosity and commitment to making life better for these well-deserving children. Your investment in our mission is an investment in the building blocks that are essential for a good life!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPONSOR A FOSTER CHILD THIS SUMMER?
Help a foster child have a fun and memorable summer this year by giving a gift sponsorship.
By sponsoring a child in foster care, you will let them know they are valued, deserving and loved!
Foster Angels of South Texas Foundation
P.O. Box 18863
Corpus Christi, TX 78480
THANK YOU FOR LETTING FOSTER CHILDREN
KNOW YOU CARE!
FINDING YOUR FOOTPRINTS by Jermeka Morrison
Do you have memories of your footprints? I know this may seem an unusual question, but can you actually remember imprinting your footprints as a child on anything at all? Anywhere? Well, I can remember my footprints, maybe not my very first footprints, but I do remember many of my footprints and the day I made them. I believe my footprints tell a story of where I’m from, where I've been and where I’m going…
First, my name is Jermeka Pertrice Morrison and this is an introduction to my footprints. I am the third of four children and I was three years old when my mother made a decision that would indeed change my life forever. One week before my fourth birthday, she decided to set me on the doorstep of my father’s home and walk away. That day, a woman came to the door, picked me up, carried me into the kitchen and we began to play with her paint set. I can remember this memory as if it were yesterday. The woman let me choose my own paint color. I chose blue and I eventually put paint everywhere even on my feet. We put my feet on paper and my blue footprints were born. Little did I realize at that moment where those feet would take me. Unlike many children, I experienced a repeated cycle of physical, mental and verbal abuse, so the child welfare system became my home.
By the time I was 18 years old, I attended over twenty elementary schools and nine high schools. Stability was very hard to accomplish, but I was very determined to have a normal senior experience, so I joined several programs. I was President of a group called “LifeSavers,” I joined ROTC, Science Academy, Youthful Women of Power and Prosperity, and maintained A's & B's, all while working part-time at McDonalds. My drive came from just one individual saying "There’s no way you can make it in life without me." I wanted to prove my biological mother wrong...and I did! I graduated from John Jay Science Academy and was accepted to Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi all on my own. At that point, there was so much more I wanted and I believed acceptance was right around the corner. So, I maintained my beliefs and goals and always kept my footprints near me. The footprints became very symbolic for me, as if to say, these footprints have been everywhere I’ve been, they’ve followed me places that most people would pray to never go, and these footprints will be there when I arrive wherever I'm meant to be.
I am proud to say that I am now where I’m meant to be; I have my Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and I am employed as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Antonio E. Garcia Center Arts and Education Center at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. In addition, in 2015 I was able to participate in the McNair Scholar’s Research Program, which allowed me to demonstrate my unique ideas and passion for others. The mere thought of me involved with networking in my community and especially throughout the foster care system was an absolute dream. I am a very committed individual and I believe this research program offered me personal development to prove just how committed I am.
The road to get here wasn’t easy though and while attending college, expenses became tremendously overwhelming. That’s when I was introduced to Jennifer Starr, Executive Director of Foster Angels of South Texas (FAST). The FAST Foundation provided me with school books, clothes, food, personal care items and they even purchased my college ring when I graduated! This organization also helped me get over my fear of public speaking, as the Foundation gave me opportunities to share my story as inspiration for others in the foster care system. The FAST Foundation has provided me with a firm basis to survive in this world as a young adult. With their guidance, I’ve become a confident woman and I am no longer afraid nor do I feel alone. FAST is the reason I had the courage, strength and will to develop and transition into the adult I am today. When I needed emotional support or if I had financial short falls, FAST was always there to help. I am so thankful for the FAST foundation and the huge impact they left on me, I will cherish them for the rest of my life. Truly, I am so grateful that Foster Angels of South Texas exists.
Hopefully my story will inspire and motivate others to share their own footprints and get involved. My ultimate goal is to receive a PhD in Criminal Justice and an MBA, while always holding onto my footprints.
FOSTER ANGELS OF SOUTH TEXAS
2017 ANNUAL APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
Each and every year our Annual Appreciation Luncheon provides a stunning reminder of the impact we are making in the world of foster care. Every child deserves a loving home and life-enriching opportunities. Nowhere is our success in this area more evident than in the collaboration between Foster Angels of South Texas, caseworkers and volunteers, our treasured sponsors and donors, and the upwardly focused young adults who grace us with their presence and with their stories. This year was especially meaningful as speakers Peggy and Gregg Nibert shared their hearts with us at the Solomon P. Ortiz International Center on April 20th at 11:30 AM. Elegant yet humble, these amazing foster parents spoke lovingly of the 40 foster babies they have taken into their home over the last 11 years, down playing their awards and national media attention from ESPN and Sports Illustrated and suggesting they are only one representation of the many foster families who have unselfishly put their own heart second in favor of a child’s life.
Gregg and Peggy were still raising their two young sons when Peggy called a family meeting at their home in Clinton, South Carolina to suggest they open their home to foster babies. Gregg, a men's basketball coach at Presbyterian College, agreed, and the boys were also willing to share their family with a baby who needed love. Gregg noted it may have been the first family meeting ever called by his wife, who felt strongly called to share the love in her heart with the most vulnerable members of our society. The Nibert boys are now successful young men and the babies continue to arrive at the Nibert's home. Some stay for weeks, others for years, but each baby receives an experience of safety and love that allows them to transition seamlessly into their adoptive families when their time at the Nibert’s comes to a close. The Nibert’s stories, coupled with tears and laughter, provided inspiration for all attendees.
Among the attendees were our foster youth honorees! Franchesca, a 16 year old young lady who has taken extra classes in the summer and online in order to graduate early, received an iPad and $500 Visa gift card. Deray and Aaray, 14 year old twin boys who maintain exemplary grades and are active in church and sports, each received a laptop and Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones. Paris, a 14 year old girl who loves animals and plans to become a veterinarian, received a laptop and a Kindle Fire. Mathew, a 17 year old young man who competes in SkillsUSA with his welding and fabrication skills, received a laptop and a $500 gift card to Home Depot for welding supplies.
The luncheon was emceed by Courtney Clark, a cancer-survivor and adoptive Mom who now lives her life to build the resilience and motivation in others.
Many thanks to our Diamond Sponsor, CITGO, our Platinum Sponsors, Bay LTD, The Gates Family, Sheila and Perry Lawrence and Patricia and Cody Bates/Ashley and Will Cocke, as well as our Gold Sponsors and Table Sponsors for helping us recognize individuals who dedicate themselves daily to protecting and caring for abused and neglected children. Your continuing support is making a difference in our community! On behalf of our honorees, each of whom received a concrete token of your affection, we are forever grateful!
Patricia and Cody Bates / Ashley and Will Cocke
The Gates Family
Sheila and Perry Lawrence
Amy and Reagan Brown
Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra
Ann and David Engel
Christina Hawn Matt Layton Pam and Richard Leshin
Courtney Rangel/Leslie McClanahan/Morrill & Morrill, PLLC
SPECIAL THANKS Pettus Advertising 6th ANNUAL POPS IN THE PARK
“What's a symphony?” asked the little boy as he wiggled in his seat. Thanks to First Rock, Inc. hundreds of foster children like this little boy, along with their families, are gaining a new appreciation for all kinds of music. What's more, the annual nature of the event is creating a springtime tradition of light classical music, the superbly synchronized Harbor Bridge light show, and fireworks for foster families who are very grateful for the experience.
April 22nd, 2017 marked the 6th year in a row for this unique fusion of sports atmosphere and rollicking melodies. Whataburger Field was packed as the theme “The Great American Road Trip” transported the audience along a “journey of music across the United States from New York, to Chicago, down to Texas, and out to the Wild Wild West!” Guest conductor Lee Gwozdz was uniquely qualified to guide the foster children we serve on this musical journey, as he has worked with young singers from around the world and is well versed in inspiring musical interest in the developing mind of impressionable youth.
One of the favorite aspects of this event, as reported by the children, was the introduction to various musical instruments in the Instrument Petting Zoo. The children were able to pluck strings and feel the smooth surface of real concert instruments. We may never know the impact this may have had on a child who will later remember this night as their first contact with the musical tools that inspired them to explore the possibilities of their own potential.
The event’s pre-concert show included performances by student musical groups and civic organizations, as well as a salute to the United States military. The evening included giant hot dogs, powdery funnel cakes and lots of running in the Kid Zone.
Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra's Pops in the Park, presented by Valero Energy Foundation, continued its annual quest to provide a fun, affordable and inspirational concert that brings the joy of music to everyone in our community. Thank you so much First Rock, Inc. for providing over 800 tickets for foster children and families to share in this amazing experience!
BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT by, Susan Karp
When I was invited to be a board member of Foster Angels, I was honored to become a member of such a caring, giving organization. It is an organization whose mission is “to improve the lives of children in foster care, ensuring each child has his or her basic needs met, and to provide life-enriching and life-enhancing experiences whenever possible.” Foster Angels helps children who are new in the foster care system, and it continues to help by providing for their needs and desires however big or small. It provides a sense of security, well-being, and love to those who feel dejected by their circumstances.
As a board member of Foster Angels of South Texas (FAST), it is heartwarming for me to see the impact this organization, with the dedicated care of caseworkers, has on foster children’s lives as it continues to provide for the needs most of our own children or grandchildren would take for granted. Importantly, all of the donor funds stay in our town and go directly to the needs of the children. It is fulfilling to know I am making a difference right here in my community.
Foster Angels of South Texas was founded by Ted Oakley, who envisioned a need for youth and a desire to “make a difference” in the lives of other less fortunate children in desperate situations. Thank you, Ted, for your vision.
The dictionary defines an angel as: “a messenger of God, characterized as having human form with wings and a halo.” The word suggests goodness and is often used to refer to someone who offers comfort and aid to others in times of trouble. THANK YOU to all foster parents, volunteers, Child Protective Services caseworkers and staff, Foster Angels of South Texas, and all of our beloved, dedicated “Angels.” Together we are making a significant difference in so many children's lives. For more information, please visit our website at www.fosterangelsstx.org
foster angels of south texas
On behalf of the children we serve, thank you for your support!
Foster Angels of South Texas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organizationdedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care