Recently TNH shared a blog about our member Ragan Brooks’ charity choice titled, “When Georgia Smiles”. We are excited now to present members Erin Cottrell and Tawnia McKiernan’s blogs, which share the charities these ladies respectively support. Our second meeting for TNH is coming up in April, which means it is voting time, and we are thrilled to have members rallying behind these very important topics. If you haven’t sign our pledge and stay connected with what TNH is doing in the community! We appreciate your support and are always excited to hear your comments and points of view in the comments below!
Five Acres by Tawnia McKiernan
TNH Member, Tawnia McKiernan, shares with us about her latest philanthropic passion and exciting projects she is undertaking.
Five Acres is a privately owned adoption agency that for 125 years has cared for vulnerable children and their families. Originally founded in downtown LA as an orphanage, their initial mission was simply to provide safety to children who had no home. In time, the mission has expanded to also focus on the well-being of our clients and caring for the mental and emotional health of children who were increasingly coming to us as a result of abuse or neglect. Having grown to an agency caring for nearly 8,400 children and family members annually across five counties, they now strive for permanency – a permanent, loving home – for all those in their care.
This past year, I became involved with Five Acres at the same time as “The New Hollywood.” Even though I have known about the charity for years, I never knew how to get involved; or maybe I thought, like many people, it is easier not to get involved. Plus, having my own kids, I felt there was no room to add any more. But now that my children are starting to leave the nest and forge their own lives, my husband and I felt it was time to get involved with Five Acres. We quickly discovered one of the areas they need help with is getting the word out about the special children in their care. These little heroes take their circumstances in stride, and continue to be lovable kids. And so my husband and I are creating a PSA to change the stigma of Fostering. Through our research, we have met some of the families and listened to their amazing stories. These families, with the help of Five Acres, were able to navigate the foster-care system and provide loving homes for children—their children. I say their children because that is what they are. These parents took the risk to help children in need of loving homes, and what they receive in return is the love of a child. One of the families we interviewed expressed they would go through the fostering process all over again because of the happiness their boys bring them. They told us they are the lucky ones not the children. But the way I see it is that both the parents and children are lucky because they now share a secure loving family.
I am sharing this charity with the women of TNH because we need to get the word out. Money is not the only thing Five Acres needs. It needs more foster families that are opening their homes and hearts to normal children, and not just to receive additional income. There is a stigma that all foster children are damaged, mentally and emotionally, and the process of adoption is so grueling that families are hesitant to take the risk. Five Acres supports people in navigating this process and placing a child in a home that is a good fit for that family.
They do this by helping not only the children, but also the families understand and work with the bureaucracy of our foster care system. One of the facts I learned while doing my research was that the children most in need of placement are children 5 and under--infants are in need! How many people do you know who cannot conceive a child? Or perhaps go to other countries to adopt? People want infants, and Five Acres has infants right here in California, yet not many people know this—myself included. With the help of our quarterly charity donation and our outreach and members, TNH can be a part of bringing attention to the facts and to this incredible organization. My passion for filmmaking and directing has led me to creating the PSA with a theme of voices. The children need our voice because they cannot speak out for themselves without our support and platform.
I am very excited and honored to share this charity with a group of women who are dedicated to philanthropy, awareness, and education. If you are interested in learning more please reach out to Five Acres (http://www.5acres.org) and follow them on social media (https://www.facebook.com/fiveacresorg , https://twitter.com/fiveacresorg , https://www.youtube.com/user/FiveAcresChannel ).
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.