Former Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie is joining the board of America’s Kids Belong, a non-profit operating in five states dedicated to helping engage and equip business, faith, and creative leaders to work with government effectively to help foster children get connected with families and be a vital part of the life of their communities.
On the phone earlier today, Gillespie talked about the importance of elevating the foster-care issue as a priority. On the campaign trail, he said, he came to a deeper understanding of the urgency of helping children in foster care and connecting them to families (whether their own or adoptive families) and community life. On the last day of national foster-care month, he eagerly expressed his commitment to lend his time and experience to help.
We cannot tolerate children in foster care — and young adults “aging out” — being invisible and forgotten.
“Finding homes for vulnerable children in foster care is a solvable crisis,” Janet Kelly of America’s Kids Belong, tells me. “It’s about getting the right people educated and motivated. Once people are aware of the need, they want to help. Which is why Ed Gillespie getting involved is such a help. Leaders like Ed giving their time and social capital to making people aware will make all the difference.”
This local Richmond news story will give you a taste of their work of hope:
Gillespie, who was chairman of the RNC and adviser to President George W. Bush is also a fellow Catholic University of America alum. I’ve talked to him in the past about his faith and the dignity of human life throughout life. This is consistent with this and such an area for common ground if we let it be, with possibilities for redemption and reconciliation in individual lives and for the health of our culture and politics as well. This is lifesaving work that leaves no aspect of our society’s challenges – crime, illiteracy, homelessness, and so much more – untouched. It’s a key area, too, where we see the importance of family life in healing the wounds that most plague us.
The full release from America’s Kids Belong is below:
ED GILLESPIE JOINS AMERICA’S KIDS BELONG BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and Counselor to the President for George W. Bush who ran for United States Senate and Governor in Virginia, has joined the board of directors for the non-profit group America’s Kids Belong, a 501(c)3 organization that mobilizes government, faith-based, business and creative leaders around the goal of permanency and belonging for every child.
Combining grassroots and “grass-tops” methods, America’s Kids Belong runs innovative initiatives in states to help ensure that every child is in a loving home by recruiting more foster and adoptive families; engaging wrap-around support for at-risk, foster & adoptive families; and helping youth who have aged out without a family reach their full potential.
“We are thrilled that someone with Ed Gillespie’s political, business and governmental experience will help guide AKB through our next critical phase of growth, as we scale up to help meet the immense challenges in foster care and adoption in our country today. As talented as he is professionally, we are even more impressed with his passion and compassion toward children in foster care,” said Brian Mavis, President and Co-Founder of America’s Kids Belong. “As a candidate for governor, Ed made a priority of foster care and adoption, and we’re glad to see him continue in his support for so many children in need.”
“I was honored to be invited to join AKB’s board,” Gillespie said. “I admire the work they’re doing, and know the vacuum they are filling. There’s a huge gap between demand for foster care in our country today, and supply of foster families. While for private adoptions, there is a long wait for children to adopt, in foster care, children are waiting for adoptive families. AKB’s multi-faceted approach to problem solving is an innovative response and I’m eager to help this great organization broaden its reach and impact.”
For more information on America’s Kids Belong work, please visit amkidsbelong.org
A fire needs to be lit and kindled in every community, throughout civil society about foster-care and adoption. Thank you, Ed Gillespie, for playing a role in this! More of us need to step up to the plate.