SMALL TOWN DIFFERENCE
In the town of Meeker in Northwest Colorado, a Project 1.27 family is making a huge impact in the foster care and adoption world. Rich and Beth Ford started their family with four biological girls. They looked into becoming foster parents while living in Elizabeth, CO but realized quickly it wasn’t the time or season. Several years later, they moved to Meeker, Beth’s hometown. Rich had grown up in nearby Craig, and Northwest Colorado felt like home to them both. Almost empty nesters at this point, they were walking around their new home one day, and Beth thought, “Wouldn’t this be a great place for kids to grow up?”
Fourteen days later, the Fords received a phone call asking if they would take care of their great-nephews, who were 2.5 and 18 months at the time.
To read the full story, click here!
NEW THINGS AT
DONATE TO HELP FAMILIES
Thank you for supporting Project 1.27! Did you know that 10% of all summer donations go toward new placement gift cards?
When foster families receive a new placement, they often have to scramble to buy the necessities, like toothbrushes, diapers, pajamas, and loveys! New placement gift cards help foster parents buy all the items for the first few days with a new child in their home.
OUR STAFF IS GROWING!
In the past year, we have added 9 new staff members! Six are in the Denver Metro area, one in NOCO, and two on the Western Slope. Want to join the Project 1.27 team? We are hiring!
From Left to Right: Brandon, Regan, Sharon, Kym, Hope, Shelly, Krissie, Marilyn, Alex, Fred, Rhonda, Emily, Lisa, AlmaSue, Naomi, Jenny, Rachel, and Janine.
ECHOFlex (Everyone Can Help Others Flex) is a supportive mental health program for foster, kinship, and adoptive families.
During a recent ECHOflex session, “Ben”, a foster dad, was brought to tears sharing how a small act of kindness meant so much to parents like him. The ECHOflex session was focused on kindness, a key element to mental wellness. As participants took turns sharing about times in their lives when they’d given or received kindness, Ben shared about Project 1.27:
“The kit [we received for the ECHOflex session] even had scissors and pens. It showed that someone thought about making it easier for families like mine; we don’t always have it easy. It meant a lot because they helped when they didn’t have to.”
Rhonda Denison, Metro Relations and Support Manager, provides trauma-informed training at Redemption Parker Church.
Project 1.27 has seen numerous churches stand up and say that they want to become trauma-informed and equipped to care for kids who have been through hard things.
The beautiful thing about serving kids and people who have experienced trauma is that the thing that heals the brain and body is connection and felt safety through relationships. What a beautiful image of the Gospel- we had a broken relationship with God, but Jesus, through the relationship, came to restore what was broken so that we could walk in a healed relationship with Him. Project 127 recently trained a group of 50 volunteers to serve youth in foster care at a Kids' Night Out event.
One volunteer wrote, “Thanks again for your time to prepare volunteers to serve kids coming to our event. It was so practical!” What a privilege to give practical tools to churches that want to reflect God's love to kids. If your church is interested in trauma-informed training, visit our church page.
SUMMER FAMILY PICNIC
At Project 127, we are so thankful for our kinship, foster and adoptive families! The annual summer picnic is a chance to shower these well-deserving families and children with love, support, community, food, gifts, and more! More than 120 people attended our family picnic this year, which featured bounce houses, Howdy’s ice cream, Chick-fil-a, face painting, and amazing giveaways such as new bikes, converse sneakers, and zoo memberships! As a staff, we are blown away by the collaboration of the community in coming together to serve these families- from churches providing beverages and park fees to donors who are so generous in their giving- it is because of this collaboration and generosity that we are able to serve these incredible families.
Before we even arrived home from this fun-filled event, we received the following email from a foster parent, "Wow, that event was awesome! Well done. I talked to my two friends, and all three of us cried at one point. Support and community is really what it’s all about. Thank you for all of it!"
FALL COMEDY NIGHT
Join us on Friday, November 3rd, from 5:45-9 pm at Ashley Ridge Event Center in Littleton! The evening features stories from Project 1.27 families, AGT comedian Mike Goodwin, delicious dinner and dessert, and an exciting silent auction.
Ways to get involved:
1) Table Hosts: Purchase 2 tickets for $150/each, then invite 8 friends to attend for free, together working to raise $1500 through donations and silent auction purchases.
2) Table Sponsors: Purchase a table and bring guests to enjoy the evening and hear about all the NEW THINGS happening at Project 1.27.
3) Event Sponsors: Underwrite the cost of Comedy Night and get business recognition!
Hope Forti, Neighbor Program Founder, and her children getting ready to enjoy dinner with their former foster brother.
Around our two-year anniversary, my husband and I decided to become foster parents. Within weeks, I felt the burden of real life was much more complicated than what I expected in training. I realized I knew foster families overwhelmed with daily needs, but I also knew open-hearted people who would meet those needs. With loads of support from our friends, families, and coworkers, I started the Neighbor Program in 2016 as the matchmaker between families who needed support and "Neighbors" who have time and energy to offer. In seven years, our 350 volunteers have delivered a monthly meal to their matched family, building a genuine relationship as they deliver homemade breakfast burritos, birthday party boxes, and takeout favorites. We hear families say, "On the days I felt like giving up, my Neighbor was a breath of life-saving air." If you would like to support a family with a monthly meal delivery, click the button below and we will find a great match!
JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SUMMER FUN
Is “fun” a scary word at your house? For many families, having too much fun means kids with meltdowns, explosive behaviors, and lots of work on self-regulation. With fear and excitement sharing the same neurotransmitters in the brain, “fun” doesn’t always end up being fun for kids and families dealing with trauma.
Here’s a list of activities and tips to help squeeze the last bits of fun out of summer break without the stress!
“They just needed some help," another foster parent said to me recently about their foster kids’ biological families. They wanted to see the parents raise their children successfully. Sometimes biological parents get the support and resources they need and are reunified with their kids. Sometimes not. Kids need nurturing families. Abuse and neglect can have long-lasting effects. Child removal can also be traumatic for children and parents, even when necessary to keep children safe.
FamiliesCare is a new program of Project 1.27 with a focus on prevention. Click the button to learn more about how you can get involved!
1.27 NATIONAL NETWORK
For the last 10 years, Project 1.27 has supported other bridge ministries in connecting local churches to local child welfare through the 1.27 National Network. Last month the network welcomed its 16th member organization, offering independent locally-focused ministries to have the benefit of idea sharing and staff development that larger, national organizations do.
Through coaching, retreats, mastermind calls, book studies, and online training, leaders around the U.S. can learn from and with each other as we all work to connect the local Church to local kids and families.