The purpose of FAATCATS is to prove that Foster, Adopted, Abandoned Teenagers Can Attain Transformation Successfully and to bring awareness to people that can get into action and inspired them to help these teenagers in anyway they can. A “They” can be “You”.
100% of the funding to manage and promote FAATCATS is provided by ACDC, therefore 100% of your donations go directly to provide needed services to those in need.
This non-for-profit organization believes the automotive industry can and will find a way to reach out to 29,000 US Kids and help them with jobs, mentoring, schools, foster homes and permanent family ties. In cooperation with many other organizations ACDC has one goal. Find a home for these teenagers.
What does FAATCATS do with your money?
What Can You Do To Help?
Let us know you want to help by E mailing (Craig@auto-careers.org) or write to Worcester Shines, INC. D/B/A FAAT CATS 40 Boyd Street, Suite 100, Worcester, MA 01606
links to Adoption Web sites
www.adoptuskids.org A good clearing house for all USA Foster Care adoption information
www.mareinc.org Massachusetts Foster Care non profit (I sit on the board)
Need a Young Person to Help?
(re-written October 2012)
When we get together with our extended family, it is common to talk shop. Politics and religion are usually off limits for good reasons. Often we take our families for granted, and then complain about some of the relatives that seem to be difficult to be around. I do my share of this type of behavior myself. The election coming up will make some changes in what the local, state and federal governments are doing and that may make you more pleased or less pleased based on your views and personal feelings. But one group of people, some half a million or more, are often not included in many parts of life. I have a poster that hangs in my office that says “The Democrats support family values. The Republicans support family values. But what happens if you don’t have a family?”
Meet Bob (I have changed his name but know him well). Bob lives at a homeless shelter in my town, is twenty years old and had been in foster care since he was 7 years old. Things at home didn’t work out and his Mother felt he would be better off if the state took over. Well as life would have it, the state can’t be a Mom or a Dad, and no real parents signed up for the job so at the age of 18 Bob enlisted into the Army. To say Bob had issues would be an over simplification but Bob did the best he could in the Army, until he hurt his back at age 19. If you have a bad back, you can’t fight so he was released. One problem, no job, no money to speak of and no family. Where does a 19 year old go? Foster care is over, no one knows him other than his foster homes and they are full of younger children in the same situation. In foster care you do not learn how to be self sufficient. Money just shows up from the state welfare office, and you learn how to take care of yourself as best you can because the foster home is most likely not permanent. At the tender age of 7 Bob was move to another foster home when his behavior was too much for the original foster family to handle. In fact Bob had been in over 50 foster homes in 11 years. Not much to brag about but not totally uncommon. So Bob lives with a group of other homeless men, most twice his age that are working on substance abuse issues and other demons that had taken their toll.
Enter ACDC. In the winter of 2006 and I had a small project that two more sets of hands could help with, so I headed to the homeless shelter as I have been doing since 1994 when I volunteered there. I know Dave, a man my own age that has been there for some time, and found him eating his dinner. He agrees to get one more man and I will pick them up at 8am the next day. That was when I met Bob.
Back in 1957 my own father, Raymond, brought in a young man home, a bit younger than Bob, to live with the family. His name is Kurt Wilkins. My Dad met him at the car auction and found out he was living on the streets. I was seven years old when Kurt moved in and I think he was about 16 or so. My dad taught him the car business and Kurt ended up OK with his own used car business by the time he was thirty. We learn a lot from our fathers, and the good stuff tends to stick.
Bob has been spending a lot of time at ACDC and has joined our family for dinner a few times as well. We have an extra bedroom, two other boys age 15 and 22 (both lived in foster homes before we made them our sons) and somehow we can’t get Bob out of our minds. In fact some people think we are out of our minds, but we don’t listen to them. Note: This story is from 2006. Our sons are now 21 and 27.
ACDC and my former business, Van Batenburg’s Garage, were / are very good to me. As most hard working Americans we can accumulate a lot of possessions in 50 years, but without a family to share it with what would it all mean? What can Bob expect in the United States when it comes to his life and his happiness? I think the least he can expect is a family. Where else are you going to go when it is your birthday, or Christmas, or vacation time?
This story about Bob is one of twenty five thousand similar sagas each year. That is the number, 25,000 US kids age out of the foster care program each year and hit the streets. Is there a Bob in your future so he can have a future too?
ACDC and many others are getting together to find and help these young people. In that you may find more of yourself that you have not seen lately. Need some help around the shop? Need a larger purpose in life? This might be for you.