Every penny goes to help children in need.
Isaiah 117 House–Carter/Johnson/Unicoi, Inc. Project (hereinafter referred to as “the organization) is a non-profit public benefit group organized to develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of children, specifically from the time of removal until the time of foster placement, served by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services ("DCS-") in Carter, Johnson and Unicoi Counties of East Tennessee. Concerns may include, but are not limited to: food, shelter, clothing, and personal hygiene. The Project will also assist in other projects to address the needs of children served by DCS in Carter, Johnson and Unicoi Counties, as those needs are identified by DCS.
Three years ago, my husband Corey and I went through Path Training in order to become foster parents. As part of our training, we attended a class at the Washington County DCS office. During that class, we were informed that when children are removed from their homes they often have to come to the DCS office and wait for placement. As I looked around the cubicle filled space, I couldn't imagine a scared child sitting in such a sterile, cold environment waiting to learn their fate. That is when I believe God put on my heart the Isaiah 117 House.
Fast-forward one year, on November 5, 2015, at 3:45pm, I received a call from the Carter County DCS office. Within an hour, Corey, Sophie, Mac and I were picking up our foster son. We were asked to come to the back door of the office. He was dirty, in clothes that were too small, and literally had nothing in the world. This was the second time I believe the Lord put on my heart the Isaiah 117 House.
What if there was a home where children could go when they are removed? What if there was a safe place with friendly, loving volunteers? What if there was an environment with clean clothes, bath toys, healthy snacks, comfy beds and toys? What if instead of cubicles, the traumatized child could see smiles, books, and snuggly blankets?
This is my dream for the Isaiah 117 House. Isaiah 1:17 says, "defend the cause of the fatherless." I believe that is what God is calling me to do. I see a home with a girl’s bedroom, a boy’s bedroom, fully stocked bathroom, playroom, nursery, etc. I see a team of volunteers, 2 at a time, on call to greet "the least of these" when they need love most. I see a place always ready to take in the children of this region in their time of need and help with what is inevitably a traumatic transition. I believe this home has the potential to positively affect the children who are coming into custody in ways far beyond what we could ever imagine as well as support the DCS staff of this region.