Foster mom, church save Christmas for 12 foster children

Published 5:51 pm Friday, December 29, 2023

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Business owner and military veteran, Tammie Rice, helped bring Christmas to 12 local foster youths who are a part of the Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. Therapeutic Foster Care. Rice spoke at her church at Ebenezer Road Church of Christ in Georgiana and members generously aided in the endeavor, making gifts for the foster children possible. 

Rice has been a foster mother since March of 2022, and currently is fostering one child in her home. She explained that fostering was something she always wanted to do. 

“It was something that I’ve always wanted to do, even when I was in the military,” Rice said. “I started my training, but then hit a bump in the road and stopped. My nest had become empty and I felt now was a good time to pick this up and go with it.”

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Rice said foster care is now a passion of hers. 

“I’ve always had a passion to do for people and to help put a smile on people’s faces,” Rice said. “I’ve always done stuff in the community, but this year has been a totally different focus now that I’m a foster parent. That’s what I want to do this year. I love fostering, and I’m going to continue to put my energy into the foster children.”

Shay Stinson, Communications Director for Seraaj Foster Care, said they are in dire need of foster parents presently. 

“We are heavily recruiting, especially in the Greenville and Andalusia area,” Stinson said. “About six months after COVID hit, we had an influx of cases and the opioid crisis increased. We are now getting several calls throughout the day, at all times of the day, for new children who need to be in foster care.”

Stinson emphasized that Seraaj’s goal is to debunk many of the myths about foster care that have created the wrong impression of the type of children in need of a foster home.  

“It’s not bad kids in foster care,” Stinson said. “It is extremely rare that kids come into foster care because of something they have done. It’s usually a parental situation, which involves some type of legal situation, drug abuse, poverty, or they can’t afford the medical care to take care of fragile children with needs. The stigma and the misconception is that foster kids are bad, and it’s just not true. They are just part of a situation that they have no control over, and they need help.” 

Stinson explained that the most helpful thing a community member can do is help Seraaj raise awareness about what foster care truly is, by helping them find social groups, churches or organizations that would allow Seraaj to host an event to answer any questions and dispel the myths of foster care. 

Rice will lead one such orientation on Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. Carolyn Sarblah’s home at 124 Cloverdale Lane in Greenville. To find out more about the upcoming orientation contact Rice at 334-662-9097. 

To learn more about becoming a foster parent with Seraaj Family Homes, call 334-271-2402.