Local Charity Gives Foster Kids Hope While in the System

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BRANSON, Mo. — One group is working to help children who are dealing with the scary and difficult transition of going into foster care.

Friday, volunteers from “Cherish Kids” got together and transformed three rooms that kids entering the system will spend quite a bit of time. 

When kids first enter the foster care system, many times they must wait in a room at the Missouri Department of Social Services for awhile — as case workers search to find them a suitable home.

Marla Lucas is the Assistant Director of Cherish Kids.

 “Due to abuse or neglect children come into care and they’re having to wait in a room,” Lucas said, “Basically the room..it looks kind of like a hospital, or a prison. It’s all white walls. There was nothing in there.”

Now, those rooms are a little brighter.. with what Lucas says is hope and color. 

Volunteers from Cherish Kids worked diligently bringing in furniture, pictures and various knick knacks.

“The cherish kids team went out and spent about three days of shopping..kind of putting everything together. Our team just worked really hard when you have a cause like this, it’s not hard to put in overtime,” said Lucas.

A cause that according to Lucas, has become an epidemic.

“In Taney County we have 274 children in Foster Care. We only have  39 homes for these kids.” Lucas said,

Cherish Kids is not alone in it’s effort, A popular Branson attraction is stepping up to the plate as well.

“So, Cherished Kids is all about family and that’s the heartbeat of Fritz’s Adventure as well,” said Jake Schenk, General Manager of Fritz’s Adventure in Branson.

Schenk says this isn’t the first time they’ve teamed up with Cherish Kids..

“We did an event last spring with them..where we invited adoptive, foster families into our building. They got to come in for free, with the hopes that they would have time to engage through adventure,” Schenk said.

Lucas says she’s hoping more families will see the critical need and take in a child who needs a loving home.

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