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Making Difference For Ohio Children

Though perhaps better known for founding a fast-food restaurant chain, the late Dave Thomas was also one of the Buckeye State’s most high-profile adoption success stories. Now, the foundation that bears his name is celebrating a milestone: more than 1,000 successful adoptions from foster care in Ohio since 2004.

That is wonderful news. In fact, the foundation says it has saved Ohio taxpayers more than $64 million by moving kids who have waited longest in foster care into adoptive homes. The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program partners with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and state adoption professionals to hire recruiters who focus exclusively on child who have been in foster care for a long time.

But there is so much more work to do.

According to adoptuskids.org, “On any given day in Ohio, nearly 16,000 children are being cared for away from their parents. More than 9,000 of them are living with foster parents. The rest of them are in residential care or living with friends or relatives …”

Of that number, more than 2,600 Ohio children are waiting to be adopted, but there are challenges. More than 1,000 are teenagers and many have siblings from whom they do not want to be separated.

Kudos to the Dave Thomas Foundation for making a difference for some of those kids. That success should serve only as a reminder, however. Those who find themselves able — and willing — to bring some of these children in their homes should use it as an opportunity to consider making their own difference.

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