Updated: Apr 24
It has been a long time since our last blog post.
We are not really sure anyone reads these things (if you do, please like this so we can get an idea). We have been fairly active on social media (Facebook and Instagram), but we realize there are many people who do not utilize social media.
We are hoping these blog posts will fill that gap and we are also exploring some newsletter options to send via email as well. We have been adjusting to the new norms dictated by COVID-19, which has impacted us a bit, though we are still progressing. We have made much progress so far in 2020, including completing the bridge to the back of the property, completing the foster care resource closet, clearing the main trail in the back of the property, and continuing to work with the county for building permits and land use approvals.
The bridge was completed in May, and is beyond anything we could have imagined. It is beautiful how it winds through the wetlands and we envision the joy that children in foster care will have walking through the woods, experiencing the peace and tranquility that nature provides. It is thanks to our friends at Tom Martin and Sons and Gochnauer Construction for their work in getting the bridge finished.
The resource closet turned out great as well. We are working through organizing the space and will begin accepting donations and providing assistance to foster families in need of clothing, shoes, etc. for new foster placements.
We are making great progress with the county on our approvals for land use and building permitting. We anticipate getting approval by the end of the year to begin building the camp facilities. We are very thankful to our friends who have supported this effort with building the site plan. Once we start building, we anticipate a year to complete construction and open camp to serve South Carolina foster families and children in foster care.
There are currently 4,480 children in foster care in South Carolina and only 2,865 licensed foster families. TRR will provide respite care for children in foster care, providing consistency—a year-round place to to have fun and cultivate relationships with other children in similar situation and counselors to support them through the challenges of foster care. We want to walk alongside their journey of permanency, hopefully via reunification, or potentially adoption.
So where do we go from here?
We are continuing to follow the county process for camp approvals and permits. Once we have approvals and can begin pulling permits, we will need to raise funds to build the clubhouse and sleeping cabins. The clubhouse will be the main indoor area with the kitchen, dining area, bathrooms, and a game room space for campers and counselors to hang out. Longterm, we envision building a home for children who age out of foster care, to provide them with a place to live and to learn life skills in a family atmosphere. This will provide a continuum of care for children who come through camp and age out of foster care. We want to provide them a next step to help them transition to adulthood in a safe environment, and a place that they are familiar with, contributing to consistency in their lives.
Please continue to pray for children in foster care. Pray for reunification with their families, pray that they will have stability and a safe place to call home during their time in foster care. Please pray for TRR, that we will get final approvals this year and that we can move forward with building the camp facilities. Please pray that the financial needs of TRR will be met to continue to move forward and provide a much-needed support network for children in foster care and foster families. Lastly, please consider donating to TRR. Your donations will help make this vision a reality and will help support children in foster care and foster families in South Carolina.
We will keep the updates coming as we continue on this journey. Thank you for your support!
—Matt and Heather