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  • Writer's pictureShirley Turner

From the Heart - Why We Do it All "For The Kids"

"FOR THE KIDS" – you've probably heard us say this a lot. Concert For the Kids, Be a Superhero For the Kids, Coats For the Kids. It's more than just a catchphrase; it's our heartbeat. But where did it all begin? Let me take you back to how this all started for me.

Around 20 years ago, I was working as an executive at a large corporation. But then I heard about this program called Royal Family Kids Camp. This camp was designed for children in foster care, specifically those aged 7 to 11. That's what struck me, the fact that these young souls had already faced so much hardship in their short lives, and now they were thrust into the unfamiliar world of foster care. I was hooked and, with a group of friends, took on the task of bringing the camp to our county.

Honestly, the "for the kids" motto came to life as I spent time managing the amazing adults who volunteered at Royal Family. I would hear several minor complaints, like uncomfortable bunks or not being fans of camp food. Some weren't seeing eye to eye with fellow volunteers. In those moments, I couldn't help but ask them, "Why are you here? What keeps you coming back?" The common thread in their responses was always the same – they were there for the kids. It became a recurring question and response - in our staff training, at camp, and even throughout the year: "Why do we do this?" And without fail, they have answered, "For the kids!"

For years, I carried a deep desire to do more for these children and the families who cared for them. In January 2019, I finally took the leap. I retired from my corporate life and decided to go all-in, giving birth to REACH Northwest. Our mission was clear: to shine a light on the impact of foster care within our community and to provide the children and families impacted by foster care with the programs and resources they need not just to survive but thrive.

So, when you see us rallying "for the kids," know that it's not just a slogan. It's a dedication that stems from the heart, a pledge to make the world a little brighter for those experiencing foster care. We invite you to join us on this incredible journey of compassion, support, and change. Together, we can truly make a difference in the lives of these remarkable children because we do it all for the kids!

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