BY RICHARD DYMOND
Bradenton’s Abby Krause and her partner, Melissa, decided two years ago that they wanted to be foster parents.
But Abby and Melissa, who currently have four foster placements, ages 3, 8,12 and 14, have a secret for how they reduce anger or anxiety issues.
They rent an RV and take long, family trips with their foster kids.
Anyone who has taken an RV trip knows RVs are not cheap to rent and fuel.
That’s where Children’s Guardian Fund comes in.
Known by many as CGF, the organization is a partner with the 12th Judicial Court’s Guardian ad Litem Program which supplies adult advocates for children who have been removed from their homes due to chaos or abuse.
But it’s CGF that steps into the breech where Guardian ad Litem can’t go, providing a birthday cake here, a book or stuffed animal there, a prom dress, soccer cleats, summer camp or music, art or sports lessons on the recommendation of a child’s Guardian ad Litem.
They even financed an RV trip to Minnesota for Abby and Melissa and their foster placements.
“CGF paid for everything we might need to help a child,” said Krause, one of six speakers who addressed an audience of 341 during “Helping Our Kids Soar,” the Children’s Guardian Fund Fall Luncheon at Michael’s on East Monday.
The luncheon was a fund-raiser, helping CGF answer a demand that reaches around $100,000 a year for help, CGF officials said.
Other speakers included the Safe Children Coalition’s Angela J. Murray, former foster care youth Jesse Durand, Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Jasmine Candlish, and CGF officials Carol Belmont and Andrea McHugh.
Krause came to the lunch along with a former foster placement of hers named John, whose last name is not being published by the Herald.
John said his mother was using crack cocaine when he was 10 and he was removed from her custody. He eventually became Krause’s foster placement. He said he had a lot of anger inside.
CGF’s helped pay for things he needed while at Krause’s but nothing more important than that trip to Minnesota in an RV, John said.
“During that trip I had fun,” John said, just prior to the luncheon. “I had a lot of family time. It made me happy to have a new family and start over.”
Abby, who was sitting next to John at the lunch banquet, giggled when John was asked to describe her.
“She’s a very nice and kind person,” John said. “She cares for a lot of people. She did a lot for me. She made me know what family means. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here today.”