SOMERSET – Since 1996, Somerset County-based Harvest of Hope Family Services Network, Inc., has recruited and trained 435 families to become licensed foster families. During the month of December, Harvest of Hope accomplished a significant milestone with the placement of their 1,000th child into those homes; 250 foster children were adopted by Harvest of Hope resource families providing a permanent solution.
On Sunday, Jan. 27, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) will give a special recognition during its 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services to the board and staff of Harvest of Hope as a part of its month long celebration of the lifelong work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I want to commend Harvest of Hope for their outstanding achievement in providing loving, safe and nurturing homes for 1,000 foster children who are the most at-risk youth in our state. This organization has literally saved a thousand lives and it has saved the state of New Jersey millions of dollars by significantly reducing the number of children in the foster care system,” said Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation reported in 2011 that there are 7,018 children in the New Jersey foster care system and close to 800 children are awaiting adoption. In addition, it has been widely reported that a substantial percentage of youth who are not adopted prior to aging out of foster care become a part of the homeless population. Across the nation, 20,000 youth ‘age out’ of foster care without stable and lasting families.
“We are committed to creating opportunities and to advocate for the needs of children in the foster care throughout the state of N.J. – recruiting families to commit to short term and long term responses to their need for care,” said Maureen Archibald, executive director of Harvest of Hope Family Services. “I want to thank FBCLG for their ongoing support and recognition of our significant milestone of the placing of the 1,000th child. FBCLG has been recognized nationally for its community outreach efforts and the public is welcome to be a part of this celebration on Sunday,” she added.
“We invite the community to join us as we honor the memory of Dr. King in creating opportunities for children and in finding solutions to improving their outcomes,” affirmed Archibald.
First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens is located at 771 Somerset Street, Somerset, N.J. 08873.
For more information about Harvest of Hope, visit: www.harvestofhopefamily.com