Ten years ago we were finally able to get three of our grandchildren out of foster care in Marion, Ind. Two and a half to three years in the foster system was not by any means a good situation for them.

A couple years back Preservation Racine presented "The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree" by D.W. Rozelle, who shared his positive life story growing up as an orphan at Taylor Orphan Asylum in Racine. Others also shared their positive experience growing up at the Taylor Home. Being residents at the orphanage they were exposed to the four key elements of successful youth development: belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. They were not shuffled from one foster home to another, from one school to another.

While reading about the need now for more foster homes I've also read about all the empty large buildings, especially the former Dominican College dorm, that are up for demolition. Is no one giving any thought to turning one of these buildings into a new Taylor Home, a place where youth could again know the feeling of belonging, no longer moving from one foster home to another, one school to another. It could be such a positive influence in their lives, a place where they would receive the support, training and self confidence to grow into successful adults as the former residents of the Taylor Orphanage have.

Sandra J. Heberling

Mount Pleasant

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