BOISE, Idaho — Becoming a foster parent can be a rewarding and often challenging experience. Recently one relatively new nonprofit, the Boise Angels, was supported by the community to empower foster families who are doing what is often life-changing work.
With Boise Angels, Vice President Emilee Fortin works to connect foster families with giving hearts in the community. A former foster mother herself, she is turning her lessons into a labor of love.
Sadly, "some of these children come from homes of severe neglect," said Fortin.
This, she said, was the case of her two foster girls she ended up adopting, bringing her family to a total of six.
"And we're at capacity!" said Fortin, with a laugh.
You might remember when she won over the hearts of members of Boise Impact Club-- a group that gets together every quarter to give a collective cash prize to members' nonprofit-of-choice after hearing their pitches.
"This is gonna make a huge, huge difference in the lives of these children in our community, and I'm excited for you guys to get to see that!" said Fortin.
I caught up with Fortin to see how the $21,000 dollar grant they were given that night in March-- has helped.
"It was a huge turning point for us in our nonprofit... one of the first things we did was be able to hire a part-time case manager," said Fortin.
Meet case manager Wendy Enos.
"I'm kind of the matchmaker," said Enos.
She's a matchmaker between foster families and those who wish to give monthly "love boxes."
"And there's something for everybody in the home so there's toilet paper and paper towels and snacks and maybe a book for the foster mom," said Fortin.
And as a former foster mom herself, Fortin says these things are important for retention rates in foster families.
"You feel very alone as foster families," said Fortin.
She hopes her work will make foster families-- and children-- feel a little less alone.
"They didn't deserve to be treated the way that they were treated, and so, that's the light: that you know you're making a difference," said Fortin.
To learn more about their mission and volunteer opportunities click here.