DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Most expecting parents have supplies for their children lined up in advance. But in the case of foster parents, their bundle of joy could come in an instant with no time to gather the necessities.
Luckily, there’s a local non-profit filling in the gaps of a growing problem in Macon County.
"Like right now, we have 250 children in foster care here in Macon County in different homes,” said Holly Newbon of Webster-Cantrell Hall. “Previously, about a year ago, that number would've only been about 100 to 150."
Newbon said that's the reality for just their non-profit. County-wide, she said there are 580 kids in foster care. Numbers like these are why Webster-Cantrell Hall is reaching out to the community seeking baby supplies.
"When we have children come into care kind of unexpectedly, they may have a child brought out to their home at 2 in the morning. They may not have a crib, or a changing table, or a stroller," Newbon shared.
All of the supplies Webster-Cantrell Hall currently has for foster parents that are getting new children fits on a small shelving unit. That's why it's so important for community members to give back.
"When children come into care, it's usually a very scary time for them. Life as they know it, have known it, has definitely been turned upside down,” Newbon explained. “To come into the agency and just feel like their basic needs are being met is a huge thing as far as the start of feeling like they’re in safe hands."
Newbon said readily having these basic supplies helps the process of re-uniting a family go as smoothly as possible.
"Every week it seems like the number of kids coming into care (is) higher and higher. So, it is definitely a sad situation. Our hope is to be able to provide parenting, nurturing and parenting skills and to really work with them to alleviate whatever issues there are so these children can be returned home," she said.
Webster-Cantrell Hall is seeking cribs, formula, diapers and Pull-Ups, as well as baby and toddler clothing.
Items can be dropped off at 1942 East Cantrell Street from Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.