Imagine that you are troubled, possibly mentally ill, and did not thrive in your home environment. The state tried placing you in Foster Care, but you didn’t thrive there either. Now you are in a safe institution, with caring staff, but still you are in an institution. Your parents are lost in their own problems, or have simply given up on you. The only people you see are paid to take care of you. They may or may not really care at all. Then, one day, the staff introduces you to your very own “Visiting Resource.” Someone is taking an interest in you because they choose to do so, not because it is their job. They come every week, you play games with them, you go on walks. They care.
Now picture yourself as the caring person in some child’s life. Rebecca Holt and her colleague describe the need for Visiting Resources for kids institutionalized and in state care. Karla Gilmore and her husband John are currently doing this important work. Karla’s description speaks for itself. Please contact Rebecca Holt if you would like to receive an application form. Contact her at Rebecca.S.Holt@dss.mo.gov 417-895-5982 or Sadonya.L.Labonte@dss.mo.gov 417-895-6592.
Karla Gilmore writes:
“I’m a visiting resource. So is my husband, John. That’s our title when we get the privilege of visiting a young woman who lives at Boys & GirlsTown of MO here in Springfield. It is an opportunity for us to connect with a young person who has no other visitors (outside of those paid to look after her), no one celebrating her birth or other holidays, no one to share her joys, dreams, sorrows, frustrations…
…She celebrated her 18th birthday this week. We knew enough of her likes to get a number of small items, a favorite fast-food meal, and a treat for the youth with whom she rooms…I can’t tell you how it made her feel, but the shine in her eyes and her smile said it all for us. An hour a week. Who would have thought it could be so important?”