An issue very close to my heart is foster child advocacy and helping to find homes for foster children- especially older foster children. When I moved back to DC in 2008, my first job was working with Susan Punnett at Kidsave. Kidsave developed an innovative program that brings children in Russian and Colombian orphanages to the U.S. to live with a host family for the summer. Sometimes the host family chooses to adopt their hosted children and other times they network the children so successfully that they are adopted by friends, colleagues, or neighbors. Susan adapted the program to network children in DC’s foster care system via weekend events and her passion led her to develop her own non-profit organization- Family and Youth Initiative (FYI). She’s a force of nature, an inspiration, and was an amazing boss!
On February 2nd, I volunteered my photography services at an FYI event called “Give your heART to a Child,” held at the Mason Inn and Jonathan was sweet enough to accompany me. (DC folks may recognize this space as the old Gin & Tonic. Not much other than a charitable event could convince me to go there!) The evening of art, music, and appetizers benefited FYI’s fantastic work.
In a surprising turn of events, one of my friends who had moved to NYC texted me: “Wow- I am at an event raising money and promoting awareness for foster children in DC. Pretty cool.” Before I noticed her text, she walked right past me! As it turns out, the lead singer of Once Okay Twice is a fellow Georgetown alum and he was volunteering his musical services at the event that evening. So the icing on my cake was getting to see Kelly and her boyfriend Roberto!
To see more photos from the event, click here.