Bridging Generations: A Foster Support Story

As a child, the drives to school with my parents were always special. With my mom, it was all about those deep, meaningful conversations and feeling like I had her undivided attention. Sometimes, my grandma joined us, sharing fascinating stories from her own life, adding layers of history and wisdom to our journeys. My dad, on the other hand, turned each ride into a musical adventure. His vast collection of CDs meant that we rarely listened to the same song twice. Those trips are cherished experiences that have stayed with me.

Gwen Klawein, a volunteer with Kingdom Workers, finds a similar sense of connection in her car rides. As part of the organization's Foster Support program, she provides weekly rides to school for Izzy, a Foster Support child, infusing these journeys with care and conversation, much like the ones I had with my own family.

Gwen, who had recently retired, was looking for volunteering opportunities to make a difference. She chose to volunteer with Kingdom Workers Foster Program, saying, "I may not have any special skills, but I have time, and I want to use it to help in any way I can, especially if it means sharing God's love with others." This humble approach led her directly to the Sleeth family's doorstep and into a role that, while seemingly simple, has had a profound impact.

When the Sleeth family contacted Kingdom Workers, they needed help with a specific problem. Their 18-year-old foster child, Izzy, required reliable transportation to attend school, but the family was struggling to find a solution due to their work and the driving distance. They wished to continue sending Izzy to her current school, which was located across town and required a lengthy commute. The Sleeths were searching for someone who could help them provide transportation to and from school, and Kingdom Workers Foster Support staff connected them with Gwen.

Gwen’s commitment to providing daily transportation has been about building connections and sharing Christian fellowship. Preparing for this volunteer role required an openness to forming a bond with a teenager from a different generation. This commitment paid off. Over time, Gwen and Izzy have found common ground, sharing interests, conversations, and moments that bridge their generational gap. These interactions have transformed their daily commutes into something more significant—an opportunity for growth and understanding. Most importantly, Gwen has been able to share and live out her faith—actively demonstrating the love of Jesus during these rides.

The entire foster family was positively impacted by Gwen’s support. Her reliable transportation has reduced a significant source of stress for the Sleeth family. This has resulted in a more stable and supportive home environment, leading to improved school attendance and the emotional well-being of Izzy. She was able to continue attending her current school, which provided a sense of familiarity. Gwen has found volunteering to be a fulfilling part of her retirement and a way to positively impact someone's life while serving God.

This story serves as an inspiration for anyone considering how they might contribute to Foster Support. Time, care, and a willingness to connect are invaluable in making a difference in a foster child's life. Much like the car rides of my childhood, where the bonds were strengthened through shared experiences, conversations, and imparted wisdom, Gwen's dedication to providing transportation and Christian fellowship has created new memories and connections. Gwen's story inspires us to contemplate our own ability to offer support to Foster Support children and their families.


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