Robert and Shenida Redditt have been caring for children as foster parents in California for 15 years and served over 40 children. They chose to join Agape a year ago after hearing about us from a friend. In their short time with Agape, they commented how they have sensed how much all of our staff really care about the children.
Shenida told about her mother and father being foster parents for years also, instilling in her a heart for needy children. Shenida and Robert have often said that “children are our future, we need to pour some of our goodness into them.”
They recently informed Agape that they will have to withdraw from caring for kids to refocus their efforts. Since Shenida’s father recently passed, she now realizes her mother and grandmother need their help in a much greater way. In communicating the announcement that they are leaving, they’ve said that “It’s never easy to say goodbye. The kids become a part of your heart.”
In a recent letter to Janet Kleyn, Shenida wrote, “I would first start off by telling you that Agape Villages has been the best foster care agency that we have been in. We have enjoyed being foster parents as we have seen the difference that can be made in a child who has been given ‘extra’ love. Showing you care and are there for the kids is monumental.”
We are grateful for families like Robert and Shenida who provide such loving care to children. Foster parents are our unsung heroes. They give sacrificial love every day to each and every child in our care. Foster parents are the best!
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Cheryl Youngblood has been a part of the Agape family for 10 years and has made such a difference in the lives of everyone she connects with. She is our Program Director and loves being able to provide interventions and training for the well-being of the children and families Agape serves. Besides caring about her job and the people of Agape, she has a wonderful family! She ha been married to her best friend Kevin Youngblood for the past 24 years. They have two kids, Michael & Sean, who both work for their dad at USGA Inc. Cheryl’s oldest, Michael, shares a beautiful 5 month old baby girl & her first grandchild, Valencia, with his wife and her daughter-in-law, Emily Youngblood. Her youngest son, Sean, has a big heart, a great sense of humor, and a passion for music. Cheryl is well-traveled, having been to China, Paris, Cuba, Columbia and more. And if that isn’t enough she is a football fan who loved the England Patriots! Cheryl we are so thankful you are with Agape and more importantly that you helping kids and families when they are in need, we couldn’t do it without you!
We are so thankful for those who believe in our cause of helping defenseless children and spend their precious time to help us serve them. Nan Mahon has been a terrific advocate for Agape and very involved in our fundraising and social events. Nan is a graduate of Sacramento State with a degree in Social Science. Her years as a single mother give her a special empathy for children and women. This has helped focus her priorities which are children, women and the arts. We appreciate her so much!
The Agape Villages carnival was held at the Principled Academy School in San Leandro on September 22nd. We had a well-rounded group of folks and kids attend who were representative of the community. Carnival rides were provided by “Fun and Games” and included a tea-cup ride, train ride, jumping house and a dunk tank. Games were donated, by the Boy Scouts of America “Eagle Scouts” project, which included a bean bag toss, golf game, and several other competitive games that provided stuffed animals for game winners.
The San Leandro Times, San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, Davis Street Community Services, and the Principled Academy helped publicize our event to the community. Thank you to Isaac Durst, for hosting our carnival location and helping us to get the word out in the community. Thank you to Alberto, who is an exchange student all the way from Spain, and who helped us all day long by making snow cones, and to Jorge Gomez of USGA, Inc who donated all of the hot dogs and buns, and to Kevin and Michael Youngblood of USGA, Inc. who donated their time, equipment and participated in helping with the games, set up and clean up. We couldn’t have done it without you guys!
Milo is our therapy dog and mascot, who has been with Agape for 5 years. He supports staff and comforts children. His favorite part of the job is making lots of new friends. His favorite food is hot dogs, and his hobbies include playing fetch, and going for walks. There has never been a person that Milo hasn’t liked, he is friends with kids, foster parents, and our staff!
Recently I have been having a few abnormalities with my heart. It has caused me to have less energy, some dizziness, and rapid heart beats. To help diagnose the best course of action to take, my doctor has ordered me to wear a heart monitor for a few weeks. It started me thinking about the “hearts” and motivations of people.
Sometimes when our hearts and minds aren’t functioning properly, our performance and actions are affected. Periodically we all need to examine our “hearts” to check to see if we are focusing too much on ourselves or if we are using our talents, time, and finances to help others.
If you would like to share the good things you’ve been blessed with, I just happen to know some disadvantaged little ones you could help. So, if your “heart monitor” is telling you to reach out more to others, call Agape today. You will feel so healthy if you do.
Courtney McAlister is not only an incredible wife and mama she is also is a very important member of Agape! She is our Social worker supervisor, she helps find placements for kids being put into foster care and provides training and support to the other social workers. Her heart is huge and she is extremely dedicated to helping families and kids in need! Courtney we are so thankful for YOU!!
We are so thankful for everyone who participated in the contest to help us build our digital presence! Juliana P. was the name we picked and will be receiving a $25 gift card. Please share us with friends and family who may be interested in becoming foster parents or supporting us! Thanks!