Lifestyle

Published on May 26th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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A Present For A Future

Tash Haynes and her husband, Ike, here with their daughter, Wisdom, are professional photographers, thanks in part to a long ago Christmas gift.

(NAPSI)—Take a look at the children you care about. Then picture them far from family and friends, in foster care, and with very little in the way of luxury or even stuff they can call their own.

That was the situation eighth grader Latasha “Tash” Haynes was in when a special organization helped change her life forever by buying her a camera—her first one.

“I didn’t get a lot of Christmas gifts,” said Haynes, now 35. “I didn’t grow up asking for things and getting what I wanted, so that first camera was a huge deal.”

Now a professional photographer, she travels the country with her husband, Ike, also a photographer, and their daughter, Wisdom.

The nonprofit that helped Haynes, Treehouse, has grown as well. It now provides thousands of children with meaningful holiday presents, such as bikes and tablets, each year.

How Else It Helps

In addition, the group’s Little Wishes program gives financial support for extracurricular activities and other experiences essential to any child’s development.

The game changer for many kids, however, has been something called Graduation Success, explained Janis Avery, Treehouse’s CEO. The average youth in foster care, she said, changes placements three times, and each time, he or she loses four to six months of academic progress.

“When the program first started, the graduation rate for youth in foster care was less than 50 percent. Our five-year graduation rate is now 82 percent, matching the rate for all students,” Avery said.

Learn More

Visit www.treehouseforkids.org/takeaction to donate time or money, or to find out about other ways to help these kids.

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