Ten generous women stepped forward as a group to “adopt” our residential home for young boys, ages 6 to 11. Organized by Kim Fuller, the group included Lorraine Farrar, Kelly Clemens, Rachel Balaban, Lisa Wagenbach, Amy Fuller, Cris Offenberg, Cristine Coristine, Myra Kirby and Tina Wiley. A professional photographer, Kim took on the assignment of photographing Child & Family Community Living spaces in 2007. After visiting the different facilities, Kim observed, “A lot of the houses were like blank canvases.” She asked herself, how difficult could that be to fix? “I thought, ‘Gosh – I could do this!’” That generous impulse grew into a team effort as Kim persuaded her friends to join the “Adopt-A-Home” program. Within weeks they were off and running.
The women have undertaken two major improvement projects at the house with assistance from Home Depot and Kirby-Perkins Construction. They’ve provided bed linens, lamps, games, toys, home-baked pies, and most important of all, their time. Kim says the experience of helping these children, “has transformed our lives in a lot of ways we didn’t expect…For some, it’s been life-changing.” Denise DiGangi, Program Manager for the Trout Drive home, says, “It has meant so much to the boys to know that people care enough to spend time with them.” Kim, Kelly Clemens and Lorraine Farrar drop by the house frequently to play, cook, do art projects or just “hang out with the boys.”
Lorraine has helped with fundraising for various organizations in the past but this is the first time she has become so personally involved. “I was amazed at how little it takes to make a big difference.” Kim agrees. “It doesn’t take a lot to impact the lives of these kids – even just one hour a week.” Lorraine says that this experience has been tremendously rewarding. “We get back so much more than we give…it’s good for you in every way.” Kelly, who organized a skateboarding event with professional skater Donny Barley in Jamestown for young C&F residents, says, “It’s been our privilege to be involved…We each give what we can and it all works out.”