Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the state wide leadership team for "Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000," an initiative to match 1,000 children currently in foster care with adoptive families. The leadership team, which consists of community leaders, elected officials, and adoption advocates, will serve to highlight the effort and promote adoption around Virginia. The announcement of the statewide leadership team comes the week before the Campaign for 1,000 Regional Kick-Off events will be taking place across the Commonwealth.
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "Each of these individuals brings a unique perspective, strong community involvement, and compassion for Virginia's children to the Campaign for 1,000. I am grateful to each member of the leadership team for their efforts and look forward to the success of the initiative. In the weeks ahead there will be opportunities for Virginia families to learn more about growing their family through adoption in the foster care system. I encourage anyone interested to attend one of the regional events and seek out more information. Children in foster care are there through no fault of their own, and just as much as any child, they deserve a loving, secure, and stable family and home."
Mrs. Kay Coles James and Mrs. Bobbie Kilberg will serve as the State Co-Chairs for the initiative. Dr. Allan Morris, Delegate Chris Peace, Senator Emmett and Mrs. Sharon Hanger, Mr. Chuck Slemp, Delegate David Toscano, Mrs. Karey Nobles, Supervisor Marty and Mrs. Kristina Nohe, Mrs. Angie Landes, Fr. Wayne Ball, Secretary Doug and Mrs. Jeanne Domenech, the Reverend Jon Barton, Ms. Sophia Booker, and Senator George Barker will serve on the Statewide Steering Committee.
"When children age out of the foster care system without finding a permanent family, they face more significant challenges without a support system of any kind. With so many loving families in Virginia, I am confident we can find great matches for these 1,000 children. I am grateful to members of the Steering Committee for adding their support to this important effort," stated Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Kelly, who along with her husband Ryan is helping to lead the "Virginia Adopts" initiative. "These events will provide families who have thought about adoption with the information they need as they consider the impact of this decision on both their own families and the children who need adopting."
Co-Chair Kay Coles James, former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources and a former foster mom stated, "When considering adoption, many people think that only babies or children in other countries are available. Any adoption is a selfless act of love, but many families don't know that there are children right here in Virginia who need a forever family. I encourage any family who believes they have extra love to give to consider adopting out of the foster care system in Virginia. As with biological children, parenting these children isn't always easy. However, as many foster and adoptive parents will tell you, the children often teach us more than we teach them,"
"Welcoming children into our hearts and homes is one of the best examples of Virginia's hallmark generosity and kindness. The paths of the 1,000 children that the 'Virginia Adopts' program will match with families will be impacted in a positive way for the rest of these children's lives, as well as life-changing for the adoptive families. I encourage Virginians to consider adopting out of the foster care system or supporting those who adopt in some meaningful way," remarked Co-Chair Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and a mother of five children.
"Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000" State Wide Leadership Team
Mrs. Kay Coles James
Mrs. Bobbie Kilberg
Statewide Steering Committee
Dr. Allan Morris of Newport News
Delegate Chris Peace of Mechanicsville
Senator Emmett and Mrs. Sharon Hanger of Mount Solon
Mr. Chuck Slemp of Wise
Delegate David Toscano of Charlottesville
Supervisor Marty and Mrs. Kristina Nohe of Prince William
Mrs. Angie Landes of Verona
Fr. Wayne Ball of Richmond
Secretary Doug and Mrs. Jeanne Domenech of Richmond
Senator George Barker of Alexandria
Mrs. Karey Nobles of Richmond
Reverend Jon Barton of Richmond
Ms. Sophia Booker of Richmond
The Campaign for 1,000 Regional Kick-Off Events begin Monday and will be hosted around the Commonwealth. The events are designed to provide educational information for parents and families interested in adoption. The events will also highlight some of the children across the Commonwealth in need of a forever family. Specific event information can be found below. For more information on these events including registration, please visit http://www.virginiaadopts.virginia.gov/events.cfm.