Fall 2020 Newsletter
Greetings from the Board of Homes for Youth. Yes, we continue to meet via Zoom. We have very good news following our Summer newsletter. We appreciate those who donated to our roof fund replacement and the Community Foundation granted us the balance we needed. The new roof was installed several weeks ago and looks great.
The number of foster girls fluctuates at the house; at the moment we have three, but that could change quickly as the need for foster parents has actually grown during the pandemic. It’s good news when a child leaves foster care to be united with a family member or adopted. With the slow staggered opening of school, it’s a real challenge to our parents. The girls go to three different schools and not every day. The Boys and Girls Club has upped their game to fill in most of the time for those days off.
We really helped DSS with their remote foster parent training by providing them with an advanced video teleconferencing system. In August of 2020 we purchased a professional video system, Poly X50, with funding from a generous grant from St. James Charities. On Sep. 22 Henderson County DSS used the system for the first time and it got excellent reviews from the staff. The system was installed in the DSS conference room where two DSS trainers hosted approximately 8 families on Zoom to begin their process of becoming foster parents. The advantages were threefold over the laptop based system they used previously. 1 - the video camera automatically zoomed into which ever trainer was talking. When the trainers were talking back and forth, the camera would zoom out so that they were both visible. This is close to what you would get in a TV studio production. 2 - The microphones were able to pick up the trainer's talking no matter where they were in the room. The students could hear both trainers very clearly. 3 - The hi fidelity speakers on the system made all of the students voices clearly audible by the trainers. Since each training session is up to 3 hours long, minimizing eye and ear strain for all participants is very important.
Due to the high moisture level in the basement area of the house, we must have a functioning dehumidifier. We installed a new replacement unit in September and it is working well. We are optimistic that this one will last.
There are changes in your board membership. Dick Kauffold joined us in April and has been a great addition with his management and financial expertise. Dick will be our Treasurer next year. Pat Miller has served for four years as Treasurer and will be retiring from the board. Pat has done a great job preparing our financial statements and keeping us on track with her advice. Also Nancy Kaczor will be leaving; we wouldn’t have had the success of the silent auctions without her work. We will miss her sound input during our board meetings.
We have talked on the board about our desire to acquire another four bedroom house that would have boys as the foster children. Before we can do that, however, we want to pay off the current mortgage we have on our first house. The remaining principle is $130,000. We have been rapidly paying down that mortgage with your generous donations, but we want to accelerate that process. To reach that goal we are starting a building fund. If you would like to contribute to that fund, please designate “House Fund” on your check or PayPal donation.
Friends and Donors, here’s where you can help. As you know now we are losing two board members. We need replacements. If you can serve, please let us know. It is not time consuming and we need your advice.
For the third year we are offering car wash debit cards from Autobell for sale. The cards have a retail cost and value of $20. We keep half of the proceeds. They make great small gifts if you don’t use them yourself. For the first time, we are trying “remote” sales. Click here to order your gift cards.
As always, we thank our donors for your support. We will muster on through this pandemic.