Jimmy Wayne Heard We Were Taking Foster Teens Rafting And He Did This…
By kncitom on July 13, 2018
Recently, our radio station partnered with Ticket to Dream foundation, a non-profit agency started by Sleep Train founder Dale Carlson to provide advocacy and resources for foster youth in Sacramento and across the country.
Inspired by that, one of our favorite things in the world in summer is a whitewater raft trip down the South Fork of the American River. So Pat and I approached a rafting buddy of ours, Tom Freer, with a raft company called ARTA about maybe putting together a raft trip for foster teens in the area. Foster kids don’t get many opportunities to do fun things like this so, when Tom agreed to help out, we put him in touch with the Ticket to Dream folks and, several emails later, this weekend’s trip has turned into 8 rafts, 10 chaperones (including Pat, Cody and me) and THIRTY FIVE foster teens from Koinonia Family Services.
But wait, there’s more. When country singer and former foster kid Jimmy Wayne heard about the idea, he wanted to do something special for the kids too. So he sent us 35 copies of his NY Times best selling book, Walk to Beautiful, which chronicles his sometimes-perilous life as a foster youth, the people who saved him and the walk he took across America to bring attention to the plight of foster kids everywhere.
Jimmy tells us most foster youth don’t get the opportunity to do just “fun, normal stuff”, so we’re stoked that we have the chance to introduce these young people to a world beyond what they’re used to, even if it’s just for a few hours. We’ve also asked our audience via Facebook to post messages of encouragement that we will read to these kids after our ride. So far the response has been great, and one of our favorites came from a former foster youth named Barbara, who said “As a former foster child from 18 months to 18 years, I encourage you to dream big, have faith and believe there is a place for you in the world. You are loved!”
Please feel free to share your own words of encouragement. We plan to print all of them out and give them to Koinonia so the kids can see and read all of them later…along with Walk To Beautiful 🙂