Joy Ammerman is a long-time resident of Montgomery County where she raised her three children and taught school. She manages the Ammerman Family Foundation to give back to the community that has been so good to her family.
In deciding what organizations to support Joy often looks to her children for suggestions. Her daughter-in-law attended our Zoom Workout fundraiser and told Joy about “this organization that provides money to youth aging out of foster care.” She chose to make a generous contribution earmarked to helping these young adults. With Joy’s gift, we will have supported fifteen foster youth who are aging out by paying for furnishings, professional work clothes, tuition, loan repayment, auto expenses, transportation, groceries, computers, and more.
Joy feels rewarded by the thought that her contribution will make a difference right here in Montgomery County. She hopes through her gift and the example she set that someday the young adults she is supporting will be able to give back as well. (Thank you, Joy!)
Without you, our donors, we could not continue to help the children and young adults who continue to face great difficulties as they try to overcome the trauma from child abuse and neglect. So please, now more than ever, help us help our community.
We are living in a difficult time, one that has forced all of us to rearrange our lives. Children and their families in Montgomery County’s Child Welfare System have been particularly hard hit. In September there were 436 children in foster care in the county. Additionally, there are children receiving services in 95 homes where, despite a finding of abuse and neglect, the situation was not deemed serious enough to place the children into foster care.
The 4MK board continues to partner with social workers in Child Welfare to help. We have been concentrating on families and, particularly, on older foster youth as they move ahead with their lives. The state of Maryland also is focusing on the hardships these young adults face. Maryland is now allowing them to stay in the foster care system for an extra six months, even when they would have aged out at twenty one. This will affect eleven young adults. But so many of them still need services, including help with rent, support for transportation to school and jobs, and money for basic living needs, and we can help with some of these.
Here are just a handful of requests Montgomery County social workers asked us to fill in the last six months. We were able to fill all of them because of your support:
Helping with housing costs for ten older youth moving into their first apartments
Purchasing fourteen Chromebooks to assist with online learning
Awarding nine college scholarships for youth graduating from high school
Paying for transportation so a mother could visit her daughter in preparation for reunification
Buying a large dining room table for an aunt who had four foster kids placed with her in addition to her own already large family. Now they can all eat together
Purchasing bunk beds for four children who now live with relatives after they were removed from their parents’ home
Providing special camps and gym activities for foster children whose camps were closed due to Covid-19
Let us introduce to you some young people your contributions have helped:
N is a young woman just leaving the foster care system. She loves graphic design and is a self-taught artist. Her designs for filters were recently accepted by Instagram. 4MK, through your donations, bought her a MacBook, the key tool she needs to pursue both her education and her passion for graphic art.
J is a kind and resilient young person preparing to move into her first apartment. She has completed two semesters at Montgomery College in addition to having finished her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) degree. She currently is focused on working and saving money. With your contributions, 4MK helped pay her rent, and J now is managing her expenses and looking forward to being on her own.
And here is how L expressed her thanks for 4MK:
“I am a youth in foster care and I had the support of 4Montgomery’s Kids. They helped me when I was pregnant and needed baby supplies. I am thankful because I was not working because of COVID, and did not have anything for my baby. They helped me a lot.”
A high priority for 4MK has been helping youth move towards independence. Each year, with the assistance of Montgomery County social workers, we offer scholarships to a few students who are moving on to higher education after high school. This year, Kayla and Carson were selected and received their awards at the annual foster care family picnic.
Carson is going to community college and is interested in studying information technology. Kayla will be studying nursing.
While both Carson and Kayla will have their tuition covered by federal and state funds, no money was provided for transportation, books, and all the other extra expenses that go with this next stage of life. Without our funds, the full college experience would have been out of reach for these young people. As you can see from the video, Carson and Kayla greatly appreciated our support. We wish them so much luck in this next step in their adventures.