Annual walkrun for adoption helps local children find adoptive homes furniture today 2 chainz smoking on that gas

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MARE focuses on children in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) who cannot be reunited with their birth families, including those who are considered more difficult to place – teens, sibling groups, and children with emotional, physical, and intellectual challenges. These children are in need of adoptive families and a place to call home.

“What a great way to celebrate foster care adoption…through an event that celebrates families”, says Eliot Tatelman, President and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture. “I love this event and am so proud to host it each year”, he continues. “It is such a wonderful feeling to know that we helped to bring children and parents together to create families. It does not get any better! MARE has been a crucial partner during our 20-year commitment to the adoption community.”

The family-friendly event kicked off at 10:00 am this morning with a 5K race followed by an after party filled with food, music, and activities including face painting, balloon artistry, glitter tattoos, a family photo booth, arts and crafts, and a parkour challenge.

By participating in the Jordan’s Furniture Walk/Run for Adoption, walkers and runners helped to change a child’s life by supporting MARE’s work to recruit adoptive parents for children and youth in state care. Nationwide, there are over 110,000 children waiting in foster care, in need of adoption. In Massachusetts, nearly 2,800 children currently in foster care have the goal of adoption, and more than 850 of those children have no relative or other potential adopter. Older, school-aged children, sibling groups, children of color and/or children with special needs tend to wait the longest for families.

MARE’s Executive Director, Lisa Funaro, shared, “Through the generous support of participants and donors, we are able to continue in our mission to place children and teens from foster care into loving adoptive homes.” She went on to say, “This event isn’t just about providing the necessary funds required to do our crucial work, it’s also about the camaraderie that families and children experience when doing something meaningful in the company of others who have walked the same path. It’s about celebrating adoption and acknowledging the joy that children bring to a family. So many now include this activity in their annual family schedule because they get a chance to meet-up and have fun with other families that they have met over the years.”

MARE and Jordan’s Furniture are pleased to be celebrating 20-years of collaboration. What started as a simple recruitment project request from MARE to the nationally-known 6-store furniture retailer has grown to include several key stakeholders working together in order to make a significant difference in accelerating the path to permanency for waiting children. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families became principal collaborators, followed by a number of private agencies; all committed to adhering to the principle of collaboration, actively participating on a regional or statewide coalition, identifying specific, achievable goals and objectives and sharing resources among agencies. Together, these agencies formed an advisory board. The Jordan’s Initiative Advisory Board is committed to making a difference in the lives of children in foster care by ensuring that each child grow up in a loving family. The Board is made up of representatives from Jordan’s Furniture, including Eliot Tatelman, MARE, DCF and private agencies working together to promote “the best interest of the child” as the paramount consideration in all placement and permanency decisions. The Board is committed to supporting the racial, ethnic and linguistic heritage of our children and their families. The Board is committed to maintaining relationships among siblings and helping each child achieve their full potential and enter adulthood successfully. As a direct result of The Jordan’s Initiative and successful partnership, over 400 children have been placed into adoptive homes through a variety of supported programs and initiatives. For more information about Jordan’s Furniture and their charity engagement please visit www.jordans.com/about-us/charities.

History The Jordan’s Initiative began in 1998 with a request by MARE to collaborate with Jordan’s Furniture on a recruitment project. In 1999, the first Jordan’s Furniture/MARE adoption party was held. After the event, it became apparent that other key stakeholders should be involved, in order to make a significant difference in accelerating the path to permanency for waiting children. The Department of Children and Families (previously DSS), became principle collaborators along with MARE. Jordan’s Furniture and MARE coordinated a meeting of DCF regional and central office staff and private agency executive directors to develop strategies to bring waiting children and interested families together and to identify existing barriers to working together. DCF and private agencies were asked to sign a memorandum of commitment to the principles of the Initiative. These included adhering to the principle of collaboration, actively participating on a regional or statewide coalition, identifying specific, achievable goals and objectives and sharing resources among agencies. A year later, the Advisory Board was created in order to review progress and recommend further recruitment opportunities. The agencies were asked to recommit to the Initiative in 2005.

The Jordan’s Initiative Advisory Board is committed to making a difference in the lives of children in foster care by ensuring that each child grow up in a loving family. Through the principles of collaboration and coordination, members will accelerate the path to permanency for all Massachusetts “waiting children” by identifying the challenges to permanence and focusing on solutions to improve permanency outcomes for children.

The Board promotes “the best interest of the child” as the paramount consideration in all placement and permanency decisions. The Board is committed to supporting the racial, ethnic and linguistic heritage of our children and their families. The Board is committed to maintaining relationships among siblings and helping each child achieve their full potential and enter adulthood successfully.