To view the FULL Angels’ Arms STATS flyer, download Infographic 2017
Last September, our Angels’ Arms home in Ferguson was destroyed by a fire. The foster family was out of town and thankfully no one was hurt, but all their belongings were lost. “We came home to a devastating realization that our beautiful home on Maple Avenue had caught fire. It was so surreal. But the Angels’ Arms staff told us that one day our lives would get put back together,” said foster mom Jenny Tripp.
Over the last six months, Angels’ Arms has been busy working on relocating the Tripp family to a new home in South St. Louis County. Jen Wallner with the Wallner Team was instrumental in helping us find the perfect house for the Tripps. We had numerous individuals donate furniture to furnish the bedrooms, dining room and family room. We had dozens of volunteers help with minor repairs and renovations and cleaning the home. Also, our friends at Community Associations Institute (CAI) held a drive in December and collected many household items for the family such as bedding, dinnerware, gift cards, cleaning supplies and much more.
After weeks of renovations and last minute finishing touches, we were finally able to hand over the keys to Jenny and her husband Shane on January 11th and we filmed it LIVE via Facebook. “We got to enter our new residence and were blown away on how much work was done to ready the home for our family and the children in our care. There were so many volunteers and donors that made all our wishes come true, and we are looking forward to starting the new year in our new home.”
Check out the photos of the new house HERE.
We’re saddened to announce that over Labor Day weekend, there was a house fire at our Angels’ Arms home in Ferguson. Foster parents, Jenny and Shane Tripp, along with their three foster children, were out of town when the fire occurred and are safe from any harm. Unfortunately, there was significant fire damage to much of the house, as well as smoke damage in all areas.
Currently, the foster family is living in temporary housing while the Angels’ Arms staff are busy working through this situation. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but while we wait to learn more, we are helping to connect the family with resources that assist with immediate needs such as clothing and food.
At this time, we can’t accept any donations of household goods and furniture but as we move forward with a long term plan for the Tripp’s, we will post a list of needs and ways the community can help this wonderful family.
In the meantime, if you would like to help Angels’ Arms support the Tripp’s and the other foster families in our homes, you can make a monetary donation HERE
Thank you in advance for your concern and support.
Since 2009, volunteers with DenimQuilts have been sowing custom quilts for every new child that enters an Angels’ Arms home. The organization, led by Sally Safranski, uses donated quilt and jean patches to design beautiful custom quilts for foster children. The first quilt they ever made was gifted to a child in an Angels’ Arms home and to date, they’ve sowed 1,000 quilts for underprivileged children in our community, with 230 of those quilts going directly to children in our homes.
It takes between 25-40 hours to sew each quilt from start to finish. Each one features a personalized patch with the child’s name and their favorite color, sport or cartoon character. These quilt are special gift for our children, something just for them that they will get to keep forever.
The group will continue to make quilts as long as there is a need but they need fabric. Donations of flannel fabrics in solid colors, plaids, stripes and kid-friendly, but not infant prints, are accepted – four yards are needed for each quilt – as well as batting and mattress pads from non-smoking homes and fabric or craft store gift cards to purchase supplies.
For more information, find DenimQuilts on Facebook or email Safranski email@example.com.
Featured article on DenimQuilts in the Webster-Kirkwood Times
The Angels’ Arms Life Launch team invited our youth to visit Forest Park and participated in a self-guided tour of the St. Louis Art Museum. Despite the St. Louis heat, the teens enjoyed a picnic in the park, passed around a football, and shared stories about their summer happenings. The group then headed to the Art Museum where they followed a guided tour planned out by one of the Life Launch teens. The tour included visits to numerous exhibits including African American and Native American Art, Textiles from the Silk Road, and the Sculpture Garden. The group said they would like to come back again to see other exhibits they missed. A shout out to the great parents and volunteers who helped plan this memorable outing.
An open letter to everyone I know. ~ Bess Wilfong
I just returned from one of our Angels’ Arms homes. I feel a strong obligation to share with you what is happening right here in our community.
Far too many of the children coming into care are in situations that are similar to those occurring in third world countries. Every time I encounter one of these situations I am saddened, yet I also know there are so many ways to rectify these issues and barriers plaguing so many families.
Yes, many children come into foster care because they must be removed from abusive and/or neglectful situations. I feel sick everytime I hear one of these stories and then meet these children. Yet some of them come into care because their parent or parents are struggling to make ends meet. They are working and have daycare qualification barriers. Parents are losing their jobs because they have court dates that they are required to attend. Clearly, some of these parents love their children, but they’re stuck: stuck in a cycle that forces them to earn money, but it’s not enough to cover their expenses.
All the finger pointing and blaming in the world won’t change any of this. What WILL change this is understanding that we are all in this together. Those of us raised in loving families with consistent support systems have a responsibility to help others—regardless of how they ended up where they are.
This is not a political issue. This is human being issue that involves each and every person reading this letter to embrace the understanding that it truly takes a village to raise a child, and we all need to be there for each other.
There are countless times that I’ve called on friends and family to help me with my children. Imagine if we didn’t have that safety net. Not everyone does.
If we make caring for our family members our sole purpose in life, we aren’t doing what we should and need to do. If you’re reading this letter, you’re more than likely one of the privileged, as am I, who has all we need and then some.
Real scenario that recently happened: Mom was working. Dad fell asleep, exhausted from working 2 jobs. Two of the younger children managed to get outside, and the police were called out of concern. Upon arrival, the police found the home not in the cleanliest of conditions. The decision was made to have the children brought into the state’s care.
It’s a horrible situation for everyone involved. Rather than condemn anyone’s actions, let’s help.
If you know a foster family, ask them how you can help. If you see a family struggling, find out what you can do. Many of the foster families I know, including the ones living in Angels’ Arms’ homes, are more than open to our community’s help. They often even help the biological parents or relatives or adoptive parents to they can properly care for the child. Sometimes the parents need help getting their place in order. Sometimes the parents need time getting their entire life in order.
I ask you to please think about your life. I know that I am beyond privileged. I have a lovely home, a beautiful family, a dedicated and amazing staff, and some of the best and most dependable friends anyone can ask for. I can’t ask for more.
We all have different personalities, revenue flows, limitations, and talents. The one thing I know for sure is we can all do something. Please be grateful for what you have. If you have a job, be thankful. If you have your health, be ecstatic. If you don’t have great health, but you’re alive, understand that there’s a reason you’re still here. If you have a family, a house, a car, anything at all that so many others don’t have, be thankful.
Be a part of the village. Share the joy that so many of us get to experience when we contribute in a tiny or big way. Just think of the army our Angels’ Arms families have behind them:
- Foster parents who sacrifice so much and who care for them and will advocate to no end to help them succeed
- A group of lovely people who take all of our families on special outings every single month
- People who collect items our families needs
- Dedicated educators
- A personalized denim quilt to keep forever
- Birthday celebrations
- People who buy their class rings, yearbooks, prom attire, and more
- Memberships to recreation clubs
The list goes on and on.
Please be a part of the village. Focusing inward won’t bring you more happiness, but reaching out will give you far more than you ever knew you could have.
The struggle (to keep the pantry stocked) is real.
Summer time for foster families means having to provide 3 meals per day for 6+ children, not to mention all the snacks.
The next time you are at the grocery store, please pick up a few extra things and drop them off to the Angels’ Arms office OR at any of the 11 Angels’ Arms homes.
The families would love any of the following items: milk, bread, eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables, ground beef, chicken, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, frozen pizzas, Hot Pockets, pudding and fruit cups, peanut butter, snack bars, mac n’ cheese, oatmeal packs, cereal, cereal and cereal.
If you would like more info or have questions, please contact Amber Odom at 314.842.8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you in advance for your support!
My daughter’s 5th birthday is coming up and we’ve been planning her celebration for a few weeks. She’s invited friends from school and outside activities. We’re all excited to celebrate this special age with her.
But as we continue to plan and prepare, I can’t help but think about the Angels’ Arms foster parents who have four or more kids in their homes. Believe it or not, many children in our homes have never experienced a birthday party before. While the foster parents do their best to help make it as special as possible, it becomes expensive very quickly. But this is where you come in.
As a birthday pal, you and your family can make our children feel loved on their special day. Along with the foster parents, you can provide a birthday celebration for a deserving child in our community. Parties can range from a trip to the child’s favorite restaurant or activity, to a party at the foster home with the family.
If you are interested in becoming an Angels’ Arms Birthday Pal, please contact Amber Odom at 314.842.8400 or email email@example.com.
Angels’ Arms Administrative Assistant
Did you know that foster kids in MO have an average high school graduation rate of $50%…BUT did you know that every single teen that’s been in one of our homes has graduated from high school. We have a 100% high school graduation rate and 4 teens graduating this month alone!
It has been just over 3 years since Jake joined our Angels’ Arms family at the age of 17. He arrived with little to his name but hope and the few clothes he had with him. We have had the privilege of watching that unsure teenager grow into a strong, compassionate, and giving young man. His road to graduation has seen many bumps and unexpected turns which have served to strengthen his resolve to achieve his goals.
Jake will start his journey to a degree in engineering here in St. Louis, with plans to transfer to Rolla S&T. He is looking forward to a summer internship at Panera Bread and continuing to benefit from the wisdom and support of his Life Launch Mentor. We wish him all the best on the road ahead.
Would you like to congratulate Jake on graduating from high school, or share words of encouragement as he embarks on his journey to college? Contact Amber Odom for more details at (314) 842-8400.
We have been privileged to have Chris in our Angels’ Arms family since 2011. He has faced personal challenges with a drive to graduate high school and find his place in the automotive field. He has worked hard to maintain his grades while also winning scholarships toward his post-secondary education. We are so proud of this young man’s drive and accomplishment!
Chris is preparing to further his automotive training and credentials at the highly esteemed Lincoln College of Technology. His planning and savings will pay off, as he enters the program he has been dreaming about for the last two years.
Would you like to help us celebrate our graduate? Let him know you are cheering him on by sharing a card and words of encouragement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
In February 2012, Nathan made his home in Angels’ Arms. With his siblings by his side, he became the youngest son of Ed and Margie Hopper through adoption. Facing challenges throughout his teen years, Nathan overcame the biggest of these just two weeks ago….graduating from high school. We are so proud of Nathan’s hard work and perseverance over the last year!
Looking ahead, Nathan plans to move into the field of carpentry. With the support of his Life Launch mentor, his family, and Angels’ Arms to back him up, Nathan is forging ahead in his life journey.
Would you like to help us celebrate our graduate? Let him know you are cheering him on by sharing a card and words of encouragement! Email email@example.com for Nathan’s contact info.