What happens to them?
I mean, what happens to them if they don't have a family?
If they don't have a home?
A safe place to be?
Enough food, enough care?
Someone to watch over them, to give them grief, to tell them "good job", or "nice try", or "hey, no attitude!"?
What if no one is there to say "It's gonna be ok", and really mean it.
What if they are cold or hungry or sick or scared.
What if they are alone?
Well, its real.
Its real here in the states.
Its even more real, to an unfathomable level, around the world.
The "lucky" ones are in an orphanage or foster care.
But they are not really lucky at all.
Because they don't have a family, or a home, or anyone who really cares about them, every day.
And that temporary haven, of sorts, that orphanage or foster home, it's gonna end.
The time there is limited.
And then these kids, and even as older teens, they are still kids, with the same needs and wants of any teen kids....they are sent out.
They are sent out.
To a bleak future.
Tough to get a job when jobs aren't available, you have no connections, no transportation, no proper clothes, not enough food, and not enough or any school.
Tough to find a place to stay when you have a tiny pocket of money to "get you started."
That money can't even rent a place to stay for a few months, if you could find one.
That money can't get you in school, or help you find a job.
That money runs out.
Then the future becomes Grim.
It is all too easy to have that future include drugs, assault, living on the streets, prostitution, begging, illness, hunger, desperation.
And these are kids.
And these are our kids.
This was MY kid.
So this topic is close to home for me.
It hurts to know that so many of these kids have such a bleak future.
That is not an overstatement.
Bleak. Grim. Future.
They have little to no future, in fact.
This could have been my girl.
She did get lucky.
We got lucky.
I'm not posting this to say that everyone should adopt older kids.
It's very hard.
It's very different from adopting a small one.
Oh, its worth it.
But there are other ways to reach out as well.
I want everyone to SEE these kids.
I want everyone to know that these are real kids, who like jokes, ice cream, hugs, a warm shower and bed.
These kids deserve a chance, any chance.
All of these kids can use a hand.
This new initiative by Gladney, "On Their Own," is for these kids.
For our kids, these forgotten ones.
As they age out, we can help them have a bit of hope.
We can help provide some of the tools they can use to get started, safely.
To find their footing, to know that even now, someone cares.
On their own.
Donate what you can, if you can.
Buy the bracelet above, the proceeds donate, the exposure helps.
You can help them step out on their own and step past the grim, maybe.
You can help them step over into hope.
You can change a life, just by caring a little.
You can change your life, just by caring a little, for these real kids - about to be on their own.