NONPROFIT AustinAngels Nonprot a boon to local foster community F ounded in 2009 by CEO Susan Ramirez, Austin Angels serves to create and sustain healthy relationships between volunteers and
BY BROOKE SJOBERG
matched with, becoming a supportive part of their lives akin to additional family members, Wilbur said. This can take the form of someone who is approved by the foster care system to help babysit small children, provide meaningful mentorship and other types of support to allow them to continue fostering children. Wilbur said many homes, when overwhelmed and under supported, end up closing after the rst year. “If a child is reunied we want them to remain open so that they can be a safe place for future placement,” Wilbur said. “If a child is adopted, we want them to continue to foster if they have space in their home. If we can just show up and provide support
families and children in the foster care system, as well as meet their physical and material needs through its Love Box program. The organization went national in 2016, and now has chapters across the country. Austin Angels primarily serves Texas Foster Care Region 7, which encompasses around 30 counties in Central Texas, including Travis, Hays and Williamson. According to Austin Angels case manager and Community Programs Manager Krista Wilbur, there are 4,500 children waiting to be placed
Love Box volunteers provide monthly small gifts. (Photos courtesy Austin Angels)
A SIGNATURE PROGRAM The Love Box program allows volunteers to provide material support to children and families. Some key components of the program include:
Volunteers sign up for a one-year commitment for deliveries of Love Boxes and activities. Each foster family has a dierent level of need, but Austin Angels recommends a nancial commitment of $25-$35 per child and $50-$75 total for parents per month. Volunteers will partner with families to establish a schedule and provide mentorship and community for children and adults through the giving of Love Boxes and quality time.
with foster fami- lies in this region alone, including in the Pugerville and Round Rock areas. For both the children and
from our commu- nity for families,
Austin Angels provides support and community through mentorship.
“IF A CHILD IS ADOPTED, WEWANT THEMTO CONTINUE TO FOSTER IF THEYHAVE SPACE IN THEIRHOME.” KRISTA WILBUR, AUSTIN ANGELS
that can make them feel like
they’re not doing it alone, because it can be really isolating.” Wilbur is fostering a child in addition to working with Austin Angels. He said Austin Angels looks for vol- unteers who are willing to commit, with the ability to provide time and nancial assistance matched to the needs of families and children—no one is required to give a minimum amount of money or time. “I always knew that I would do it,” Wilbur said. “I was adopted as a teenager and had really just amazing inuences in my life.”
families, addi- tional support can be extremely benecial, Wilbur said.
“When I talk to volunteers and we’re matching the families and youth, I always tell them, ‘We truly cannot do this work without you,’” Wilbur said. “We know when we’re working with kids and people in gen- eral [that have] experienced trauma, the No. 1 thing that prevents trauma and the No. 1 thing that heals trauma is healthy relationships.” Austin Angels volunteers show up for the family or child they are
There are 4,500 children in foster care in Central Texas.
AustinAngels 9901 Brodie Lane, Ste. 160 PMB 255, Austin 512-312-4500 info@AustinAngels.co
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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • NOVEMBER 2021
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