A happy home is part of the American dream. For many children, that dream can become a nightmare of abuse and neglect.

As a result, just under 700,000 abused or neglected children pass through America’s foster care system every year— more than 1,500 in Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties alone. The problem is big, but easy for many people to ignore. I can’t ignore it, however.

I went through my own childhood trauma, and know what these children endure. I also know what a difference a support system can make.

The support I received empowered me to get my life back on track. The experience inspired me to commit my life to serving children and families whose lives have been shattered.

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