LANSING - St. Vincent Catholic Charities held their 2nd annual Adoption Children Art Exhibit. It’s held every National Foster Care Month in May and every National Adoption Month in November.
The art show is only for children that are between the ages of 13 and 17. This is because they are close to aging out of the foster care system. According to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, more than 23,000 children aged out of the system in 2012.
Tamra Johnson, Community Relations and Marketing Director at St Vincent Catholic Charities explains what goes on at the event. "It normally focuses around the theme of finding a family, and what they can give to a family and at the actual event the children present their artwork to the community and get a chance to stand up and share their story. This is so important because most of the kids she works with are teens and this really gives the community an opportunity to see their personalities to let them shine a little bit."
Samantha, a teen up for adoption said, “Some people say like oh you know that's not really going to happen, You should have another thing, well I'm shooting for the stars.”
Whitney Banks, St. Vincent Catholic Charities Adoption Recruiter explains how it all started. “I went to an art gallery and they said go to Kathy Holcomb shop absolute gallery she does all that stuff. So I went to her and I loved the feel of her shop and wrote her a long e mail saying we really have to do this and she e mailed me back and said lets go ahead and do it.”
13 year old K'lub is the youngest of his 4 brothers, but already has his future planned out.
“Play Football, make some money, and then get my own house and start a family. I’ll play for either the Chicago Bulls or the Eagles, Michigan, I don’t like Michigan State,” said K’lub.
With the event being held only a few times since its start, one child has already been successfully adopted.
“In our world one is great especially since he was 16 years old at the time,” said Banks.
St. Vincent Catholic Charities also has a children home where they work with foster youth from severe crisis situations.