Organizers of Tuesday’s Jefferson City fundraiser for the Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association (CMFCAA) say Missouri has lost almost 300 foster homes since the COVID pandemic began.
CMFCAA spokesman Gerry Tritz says Tuesday night’s gala will help the organization offer free services and programs to foster, adoptive and kinship families in 24 mid-Missouri counties.
“We offer services for kids entering the foster system, foster care system. We offer services for families who want to welcome one of these children into their homes,” Tritz says.
Tuesday’s event begins with a 5:30 reception and silent auction, followed by a 6:30 dinner and program. Tritz tells 939 the Eagle that three special guests will share their foster and adoption stories. He says one of the biggest needs is backpacks for children entering the foster care system. Many of them only have the clothes they’re wearing.
“These are backpacks that are packed with their personal hygiene items, their school supplies. There’s even a toy or two in there for the kids just to get them started so that they can have something to call their own,” says Tritz.
The state Department of Social Services (DSS) says there are 13,591 Missouri children in foster care as of September. Tritz says Missouri has lost 267 foster homes since the March 2020 pandemic began.
Tickets for Tuesday’s gala are $50 for an individual or $90 per couple. It is CMFCAA’s largest fundraiser of the year.