The Power of a Party

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Marie Kondo has sparked a craze around the United States with her recently-released Netflix special, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Kondo’s particular brand of tidying (dubbed #KonMari) revolves around the idea that the things in a person’s dwelling, and even the dwelling itself, should “spark joy” in that person’s life. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

I was introduced to #KonMari five years ago when I read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, Kondo’s best-selling how-to guide. We were preparing to become foster parents, and I certainly wanted a bit of the magic Marie was offering. While the entire system didn’t work for me (I still can’t force myself to spend the extra time folding my clothes so they’ll stand up on their own!), I was encouraged by her approach to home organization. I was moved by her desire to use her special set of skills to bring joy to those she served.

Last month, I was similarly moved by Lorraine, a Foster the Bay Support Friend and Volunteer.

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As a Support Friend, Lorraine cooks meals and babysits for her Foster Family. She also supports her friends emotionally and encourages them through the hard seasons of foster caring. Additionally, Lorraine offers her professional skills to Foster the Bay at different times throughout the year.

As an Event Planner, Lorraine has volunteered with Foster the Bay as an event advisor and coordinator. Last month, she spent several hours hosting our Foster the Bay Staff party, and it was an incredible blessing to our team. The venue was warm and inviting, the food was delicious and filling, and our time was sacred and joyful. Lorraine truly “sparked joy” in our team that night.

“We are so thankful for Lorraine’s partnership. She has stuck by our side for two years and supported us in more ways than than we can count. Her love, encouragement, and practical help have made it possible for us to walk through the good *and the challenging* days of foster care. We are beyond grateful for her love, and we are inspired by her on a very regular basis. We’re better together!” ~The P Family

About half of all foster families quit after their first year of providing care. Similarly, the average annual rate of turnover for social workers is 30%, nearly three times the rate that’s considered optimal or healthy.[1] This kind of turnover creates further instability and trauma for children in foster care. But Support Friends and Volunteers can make a significant impact in this area.

With the extra help and care from a Support Team, Foster Families can provide better care for longer seasons. With extra encouragement and support from appreciation events, social workers can better handle the challenges inherent in caring for vulnerable children. Coordinating services and hosting events that “spark joy” can make a huge difference for children in foster care. We are thankful for everyone who plays a role in our mission to provide loving, stable homes for children in foster care. Would you consider joining our team?

We are currently looking for volunteers in the follow areas:

  • Childcare Providers for Interest Meetings and Launch Meetings

  • Greeters and Set-up/Tear-down Teams for Interest Meetings and Launch Meetings

  • Event Planners to help with Social Worker Appreciation Events and Fundraising Events

  • Grant Writers

  • Salesforce Developers

If you’re interested in fulfilling any of these roles, please send an email to info@fosterthebay.org. We hope to see you soon!

  1. https://www.casey.org/turnover-costs-and-retention-strategies/

Foster the Bay