Foster Kids Ministry
Ponderosa's Vision is to provide foster children in northeast Alabama the life-changing experience of a week of summer camp in a Christian environment.
A week filled with love and laughter! A week filled with hope and inspiration. A week where foster can forget their worries for just a little while. A week where they can just be kids!
Benefits and Outcomes for the Kids
Provides life changing moments where kids can just be kids.
Shows a picture of family life for those who haven't experienced it.
Replaces missing elements in a foster child's life such as attention, affirmation, happiness, and emotional connectedness.
Experience memorable (possibly once in a lifetime) activities like horseback riding, zip lining, sky swing, canoeing, kayaking, archery, swimming lessons, woodworking, ceramics, and even a birthday party!
Offers Biblical hope for a brighter future during their darkest days.
Benefits the Community
Brings the community together for a noble cause.
Gives foster parents a respite break.
Facts & Statistics that will break your heart
At any given time there are 130-150 foster kids in Dekalb County, Alabama. At least half of these kids are between the ages of 7-14 and would benefit by spending a week at camp.
The following is reposted from Upworthy.com:
There are currently over 400,000 kids in foster care in the USA. Some of these kids will go back to their parents. Others will age out or, sometimes, run away.
Foster kids can suffer from PTSD at almost two times the rate of returning veterans. PTSD can mimic a lot of other mental illnesses, and it can manifest as nightmares, flashbacks, fight-or-flee responses, anger outbursts, and hypervigilance (being on "red alert" at all times), among other symptoms.
The average age of a foster child is 9 years old. They're just on that edge of childhood, and chances are, it's been a pretty messed up childhood at that. Trauma does that.
About half of all foster kids are in non-relative foster homes. 8% are in institutions, 6% are in group homes, and only 4% are in pre-adoptive homes. Read that again — only 4% are in pre-adoptive homes.
Some foster children experience multiple placements. In some cases, eight or more. That's eight homes that they move into — and out of. And just consider ... that means they lose not just adults and other kids with whom they are establishing a bond, but friends, schoolmates, pets.
The average foster child remains in the system for almost two years before being reunited with their biological parents, adopted, aging out, or other outcomes. 8% of them remain in foster care for over five years. Of the 238,000 foster kids who left the system in 2013, about half were reunited with parents or primary caregivers, 21% were adopted, 15% went to live with a relative or other guardian, and 10% were emancipated (aged out).
In 2013, more than 23,000 young people aged out of foster care with no permanent family to end up with. And if you add that up, year after year, hundreds of thousands of foster youth will have aged out of the system. What does that look like? "You're 18. You've got no place to live and no family. Good luck — buh-bye now!" One-quarter of former foster kids experience homelessness within four years of exiting the system.
Foster "alumni" (those who have been in foster homes and either adopted, returned to parents, or aged out) are likely to suffer serious mental health consequences. They are four-five times more likely to be hospitalized for attempting suicide and five-eight times more likely to be hospitalized for serious psychiatric disorders in their teens.
Based on that set of statistics alone, it's in the public's interest (ignoring, for a second, the interests of those kids) to help them through their lot in life and spend resources making it all work much better for everybody before it gets to that point."
~ Brandon Weber, Upworthy.com