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Two Videos to Make You Think

For your entertainment and edification today, check out the video posted on the Poplar Springs Volunteer community, and have a hanky handy.

Then, if you’ve got 12 minutes, check out the video I helped produce (and I’m in it toward the end and let me just say right now that I look hideous) about emancipated foster youth and Turtle Nest Village (it’s right on the home page–just press the play button or click anywhere on the screen).

The best thing about working with the cause of youth who have aged out of the foster care system–and you’ll all appreciate this–is that the problems can be solved in our lifetime. Talk about "victories!" The victories we achieve are real:

  • 96% of the youth who graduated from our program are living successfully, independently within the community and they’re happy!
  • For the first time, our community is able to serve the 13-17 year olds in foster care and prepare them for what they will have to deal with when they turn 18 (like finding a home, getting a job, finishing high school or their GED, and learning what community resources are available to them).
  • 85% of youth who enter the program graduate from it.
  • Our results are so impressive that one of our donors funded the short video on the site as well as a feature-length documentary that is now in the editing stage about emancipated foster youth and several programs in the country that are considered model programs (like Turtle Nest Village).
  • Our administrative expenses have always been under 10%.
  • Our Executive Director, Elizabeth Brown, has received a handful of "Social Worker of the Year" awards over the past couple of years, from local, regional and national organizations for her work with former foster youth.

Emancipated foster youth as a cause is similar to nonhuman animals as a cause in that few people care about them.

"They’re 18–they should be able to take care of themselves,"  we often hear.
"They’re not people, they’re animals. When we’ve solved all the problems people have, we can move to animals," we often hear.

Being a voice for the voiceless is never easy, and it often involves little or no gratitude. Thank you all for taking on that role.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Deb #

    I should probably say that I created that ning network as much as an experiment as anything else. Though maybe we'll use it!

    People can go directly to the youtube video here though:

    You do not look hideous in the Turtle Nest video! I thought it was very moving, and inspirational as well.

    October 21, 2007
  2. Ellie #

    Congratulations, Mary, on helping kids from foster care! It does my heart good to see their success. My family has worked on behalf of these children too. They've been face to face with a horrendous foster care system, from a poorly run, uncaring administration to abusive foster homes. Thank goodness for the caring people who help these kids.

    ps: And you don't look hideous 🙂

    October 21, 2007
  3. Mike Grieco #

    Mary,Mary,Beautiful Mary!–You said "have a hanky handy."
    Well,between these two "BEAUTIFUL" videos,i could have made a pot of tea with the "TEARS of JOY" that i shed!:)
    Yet again ,"Mille Grazie" for connecting us with wonderful news of wonderful human beings,doing wonderful things to help the lives of another.

    "What we do to another–we do to ourselves–there are no exceptions." -MG

    **Shine On** to all you wonderful humans-"for being a voice for the voiceless."

    October 21, 2007
  4. What a fantastic organization, Mary. Thank you for all you do, but honestly I just don't get it. You can care about humans AND animals at the same time? No way! 🙂

    October 24, 2007
  5. Mary – what a wonderful organization and social cause for you to be involved with. Our society needs to invest more in helping "those who cannot help themselves" – animals, children and youth, senior citizens, the physically and mentally infirm and people who are otherwise socially disadvantaged. Good for you, Mary.

    October 25, 2007

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