How Worthdays Began
After deciding to take a hiatus from working as a child welfare social worker for the past decade to be a stay at home mom, our founder and executive director, Caroline Neal, realized that she couldn't sit idle from the needs of the foster care system. Not only did she know about the needs of the system and desperately want to make an impact on this system, she wanted her children to be actively involved in impacting their world in a positive way. Too many times she saw the harsh realities faced by children in the foster care system and was disheartened by the lack of engagement by our community. One piece of advice from a local therapist that really stuck with Caroline was about a young man who was desperately struggling with the reality that he was separated from his siblings, abandoned by his parents, had no family members able to care for him and really had no hope for his future.
The therapist’s advice was so simple but had a profound impact on Caroline - ‘all day remind him that he's worth it because all day he's reminding himself that he's not’.
Fast forward a year or so and this same young man sat in a residential treatment center, alone. As his prior social worker, Caroline put together some items for his upcoming birthday. As she handed this package to the postman, it hit her that if no one even celebrated his very being on his birthday than how in the world could he feel worthy? It was at that moment that she decided that the least she could do was ensure kids had a box of birthday essentials on their birthday. She has much bigger dreams of what our community can do to ensure kids in foster care are worthy and is so excited for what the future holds for Worthdays!