Today we’d like to introduce you to Kerri Hupp.
Kerri, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Five years after adopting my son from foster care, I found myself on the other side of divorce and wanting to figure out my ‘why.’ I’d had a successful corporate career but knew there was more. I began volunteering with Chosen Ones in 2018, but that wasn’t enough. In the fall of 2018, I took a complete leap of faith, left my very stable job of 12 years, and joined Chosen Ones as their Chief Operating Officer.
Has it been a smooth road?
Hah! Hardly… I am a 5/10/20 year plan kind of girl. Thinking of leaving my job was one thing. Leaving a very well paying job, as a single mom, for something unpaid is an entirely different story. But I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I never would. If I failed massively, I would figure it out. And the ever-present voice lingering in the back of my mind told me that my son was watching. He’d lived through things to be feared. Leaving a job with money in the bank and the safety net of a really strong job market is NOT something to fear. I want him to live life boldly. I want him to figure out what he was created to do and find a way to do it. And it was so important to me that he be connected to my work. As a former foster child, it meant so much to him to understand that my time away from him was going to that. He was able to see us move into our new facility, and watch campaigns and creative jobs come to life with me. That level of connectivity is invaluable to me.
What else should our readers know?
We are a 501C3 foster and adoptive support organization. We are most well known for our warehouse in Fort Worth, which provides essentials (clothing, shoes, toys, linens, diapers, formula, car seats, you name it!) FREE of charge to area foster and adoptive families. We also actively educate and recruit potential foster and adoptive families with anything and everything you need to know about fostering and adopting. Our support also extends to social media groups and in-person support groups across DFW. 4 times a year, we host fun family events for foster families to get out and enjoy themselves, and we also partner with Urban Air to provide free birthday parties for foster families and up to 10 guests. Essentially, we do everything but place foster and adoptive children in the homes; there is no one else like us out there in DFW. I love that the team and volunteers are almost exclusively made up of foster families, so we understand how trying the process can be, and what is needed to survive. Basically, Chosen Ones provides everything that I was missing when I went through the process in 2013, which is what drew me to working with them.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Absolutely! DFW is ripe with opportunities to support foster and adoptive families. We have over 6,000 kids in foster care right now in DFW, and not nearly enough homes. We need more organizations to come around potential and current families and support them so that we can lower the attrition rate, and add to the number of homes out there. One of the more frustrating things about foster care to me (not just locally, but nationally) is the lack of marketing around what benefits are available to foster families. Public institutions get state and sometimes federal monies to make adoption plans and provide needed services. In the state of Texas, adoption incentives for qualifying children can include a monthly stipend and medical insurance until their 18th birthday, and free in-state college tuition up to their doctorate. It’s truly a travesty that this isn’t marketed far and wide to prospective adoptive parents who think they cannot afford to adopt. If DFW could make a concerted effort to market these benefits and bring in more adoptive parents, we would change the face of foster care!!
- Address: 7600 Sand Street, Building 14
Fort Worth, TX 76118
- Website: www.chosenones.org
- Phone: 817.333.8754
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chosen.ones1/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chosenonessupport/
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/chosen-ones-foster-adoptive-family-support/