Reaching out: Safe Families for Children

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I use the term Carmel Housewife with every bit of reverence and respect I can muster.  Krista brought it up when she said, “Diane and I are just two Carmel housewives.” She wanted me to know there were no highfalutin degrees, no specialized training; nothing but a deep belief both of them were called by God to do more.

And so they did. In 2008, Krista Davis and Diane Palma launched Safe Families for Children. Their mission is to give at-risk children a temporary place to live with volunteer host families in Hamilton County. More than 800 children have found a friendly, warm, loving place to lay their heads when the world seems like an ugly, cold, hopeless place.  More than 45 percent of the children served by this amazing organization are facing the homeless threat. The rest have parents dealing with some other pending issue that is absolutely overwhelming.

There is a child from newborn to 18 years old whose parents have voluntarily agreed that for an average of 21 days, they should live with a family in Hamilton County. During that period of time, the parents will work on getting their life back in control so all can be reunited under one roof once again. Best of all, in many cases, the connection between the family in need and the family who needs to give continues on.

Safe Families for Children is a totally volunteer-based organization. Chuck Gross of Noblesville is president. Stephen Hadley is vice president and Randy Sorrell handles development for the nonprofit. The initial seed money to start the charity began with a grant from Oprah Winfrey. But after the first year, the fundraising is left to locals.

Krista told me about a mom who reached out to Safe Families for Children. Imagine, she has four young sons and her husband dies unexpectedly. She doesn’t have a job, and the problems she faces are overwhelming. No relatives nearby, no support structure. You guessed it. The boys find temporary, loving, safe homes while Mom focuses on getting her feet back under her. That story ended happily ever after because of Krista and Diane.

There is so much good within this story, but always room for more. Could you be a safe family? Could you help answer the phone or write a grant? Maybe your checkbook is a little flush this month. To get involved, check out www.safe-families.org. The 24/7 Intake Crisis Line is 519-3839.

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