Getting Kids Out Of Foster Care

This is actually a re-run of a campaign that the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Wendy’s fast food restaurants have run before. The current campaign was launched in November 2020 in conjunction with National Adoption Month. Wendy’s also partnered with Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper on a drink promotion using Wendy’s mobile app that allows consumers to get something and give something back with no extra effort. 

To their credit, Wendy’s does seem to want the focus to be on foster care. From Wendy’s own public relations release –

Wendy’s is passionate about raising funds and awareness of the urgent need for adoptive families for youth in foster care. There’s no better time to support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s mission to dramatically increase the number of adoptions of children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Through its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption serves youth who are most at risk of aging out of foster care without a family, including teenagers, children with special needs and siblings. In partnership with child welfare advocates, policymakers and adoption professionals, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has helped find permanent, loving homes for nearly 10,000 children in foster care and counting.

Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provides grants to adoption agencies to hire and train adoption recruiters who implement the Foundation’s evidence-based Child-Focused Recruitment Model. This model is said to be up to 3 times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest, including older youth, sibling groups and children with special needs.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters work with smaller caseloads of children, ensuring they have the time and resources to give each child as much attention as he or she deserves. By the time these children are referred to a recruiter:

[1] 90% are older than age 8

[2] 33% have had six or more placements

[3] 52% have been in foster care more than four years

Dedicated to finding the right home for every child, adoption recruiters begin their search within a child’s familiar circles of family, friends and neighbors and then reach out to the communities in which they live.

I do like their focus on the child’s own family or original environment. I can’t argue that their hearts are not in the right place.

As to the key tag, your ability to purchase one ended on January 31, 2021. For those who bought one, the key tag is redeemable for one free Jr Frosty treat per visit with purchase throughout 2021. If one really loves Wendy’s Frosty, the $2 invested is a bargain and some portion goes back to support the work of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Adoption Competition

I’m an entrepreneurial business person, so I get it. We got in on a big recycling push that carried our business (www.yemmhart.com) to a nice high just before the great recession of 2009. We’ve not totally recovered and the pandemic hasn’t help but we’re still doing business. At the time we started our effort, we benefitted from some awesome and free promotional efforts motivated by magazine’s own commercial interests. Advertising one can’t buy and I’ll admit, it was great.

So, this t-shirt design company that markets their custom product for fund-raising efforts has married their effort to produce revenue and their marketing need to raise awareness of their company to the expensive efforts of couple’s wanting to adopt a child (usually tens of thousands of dollars needed to do so these days).

Therefore, they have created a marketing promotion – an adoption competition. The couple who gets the most friends and usually local acquaintances (via local news sources bringing an awareness – advertising you can’t buy) to buy a t-shirt from this company gets 1 vote for every t-shirt sold. There are 10 couples. You can view them here – adoption finalists. The competition ends tomorrow, November 19th.

The company writes on their website – Every year, we help fund an adoption. November is national adoption month and this year we’re helping another family bring their beloved child home! You would be amazed what happens when you combine T-shirts, social media and the power of someone’s story.

And thus, another brilliant marketing campaign and revenue generator is born.

My Only Objection

Back in November, during National Adoption Month, I wrote to Klobuchar that I had been supportive of her campaign for the Democratic nominee until I found out about her strong interest in promoting adoption.  Her counterpart in the Senate is Roy Blunt who is from my state of Missouri but he is a Republican and close ally of our president Trump, so I did not bother to write him.

Yesterday, Klobuchar did better than expected in the New Hampshire primary.  There is a section of the electorate who wants calm and someone they are not being fed a drama a day but can go about their business with some assurance of ethical behavior in the top official of the government.  I get it.  Klobuchar does not really excite.  She is like the mom who you know you can depend upon not to embarrass you.

She was instrumental in smoothing the way for a number of transracial adoptions from Haiti as depicted in the photo above.  On January 12 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, which is a very poor country.  The earthquake affected an estimated three million people. Close to 230,000 people died, 300,000 were injured and one million were made homeless. An estimated 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings collapsed.

“It’s wonderful to see adoptive families, family members, friends and others who plan to adopt kids from Haiti here this evening,” Klobuchar said in a meeting in 2011. “We in Congress will work hard to continue to help you with adoption issues.”

Over the course of approximately two months following the earthquake, Klobuchar’s office worked with 25 families to help unite 39 Haitian children with their new families in Minnesota. A Congressional bill authored by Klobuchar later passed the House and Senate and was signed into law.  One at least hopes all of the children are truly orphans and not simply taken from extended family who would raise them.

No doubt, her heart is in the right place even though she appears woefully ignorant about the wounds inflicted by adoption and even worse, the effects on children who are placed in families who bear no resemblance to their culture.  I will vote for whoever the Democratic presidential nominee is in November 2020.  I don’t know if I can get over my objection to Klobuchar’s very public role in promoting adoption.