By Elise Kidd, news intern
ODENVILLE — A simple leap of faith towards God’s plans turned into an operation helping many in St. Clair County.
Foster Aid Ministry is located in Odenville. Founded by Carissa Wright as a way to help families and workers in foster care, Foster Aid Ministry serves in multiple ways but mainly through encouraging churches to mobilize the Body of Christ.
Wright founded Foster Aid Ministry in 2018 after being an advocate since 2014. Before that, Wright and her husband took 12-week foster/adoption classes in the hope that God would grant them the ability to adopt a little girl.
“God taught me a lot about patience and relying on him during that time,” Wright said.
Wright’s patience and faith in God proved positive. In 2007, she and her husband were given three little girls to take care of. Her own experience with the foster care system created a personal connection to a community that desperately needed more awareness.
“There’s just so much that everyone doesn’t know or understand,” Wright explained. “Even in the churches that sponsor families or host events for us, many people come to me and say, ‘I had no idea there was such a need here.’”
The lack of knowledge or understanding is the biggest issue, in Wright’s opinion. Because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of the foster care community, many families are unable to get the assistance they need.
Wright and other members of Foster Aid Ministry spend their time trying to answer questions and educate others, but the process is a long one.
Foster Aid Ministry doesn’t just focus on the families and children but also takes its time to focus on foster workers. The organization hosts luncheons to “recharge” the foster workers quarterly, attempting to shed light on every piece that makes up the foster care system. These small things can go a long way, according to Wright.
“I’ve left goody bags on a worker’s desk and later received a message from them just saying how much they appreciated the few pieces of candy and how it’s renewed their energy for a case,” said Wright. “Just showing that there is someone there, someone who cares and appreciates them, works wonders for people in the foster care community.”
Foster Aid Ministry also creates care bags for children in foster homes year-round. Care bags contain a few items like pajamas or toiletries that help the foster family.
Wright wants to see more churches and people get involved in the foster care community. Whether that be churches hosting events where they keep children and let the foster parents have a night out or more people volunteering to help out when it comes to distributing items, Wright desires to see more understanding and involvement.
“There is just this great need for understanding, help, love, mentorship and encouragement throughout the entire community,” Wright said.
If you would like to know more about Foster Aid Ministry, learn how to donate, or contact them, all information can be found at https://www.fosteraidministry.org/.