OMAHA, NEB. (KMTV) — Child Saving Institute is an organization that works to make sure kids in the Omaha metro have a safe, happy place to learn and grow.
Thursday, they held a virtual fundraiser PurseOnalities, a silent auction of designer handbags, to help raise money to support foster families, adoption and their educational programs in the Omaha metro area.
“The breath of what they do is incredible and the need is there,” Ashley Dieckman, PurseOnalities Chair said.
So far, they’ve raised more than $100,000; Child Saving Institute is still accepting donations online.
Leigh Ann Tuohy was the keynote speaker; she talked about how welcoming Michael Oher into her home changed her family. The Tuohy family's story was featured in the movie “The Blind Side.” But there are foster families just like hers in Omaha.
“It has grown us as people and our biological kids, we have learned to invest and love more than we thought that we could. It’s made us stronger people,” Amy Williams, foster mother said.
Amy and Trent Williams have three biological sons and have fostered 15 kids since 2018.
“It’s not easy but its good, that’s one of the things that we always say. It’s very rewarding,” Trent said.
The biggest need in the Omaha metro area right now is families willing to foster older youth and siblings
“You have families that already for the most part look like they have a completed family with three or four kids of their own,” Dieckman said. “Yet they are finding room in their hearts and home to take in more children. The need is there, and people are responding; and we would just put it out there to keep responding because you’re doing a wonderful thing.”
The Williams' say their kids have encouraged them more with fostering than they even thought they could do.
“Just being present and just taking one step at a time, one decision at a time and where you’re meant to be you’ll be guided to that and you’ll be equipped to do so,” Amy said.
The Child Saving Institute is holding an informational meeting online for people interested in learning more about fostering children on Monday, December 14 at 6 p.m. For more information contact Joan Cooper firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-504-3649.