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Charlotte groups hope event helps encourage others to advocate for foster kids

One advocate said many teens in the system face the possibility of aging out with nowhere to go.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For Mother's Day weekend, several organizations in the Charlotte area came together with Home4Me for Share The Love, an event aimed at ensuring teens in foster care have a voice.

Food, games, and prizes were part of Saturday's festivities, all part of sharing love with the youth in the system — reminding them they’ll always have continued support along their journey. 

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"What we learned over time, it takes a village and we are here to be that village," said Donna Lee Reed, founder of Home4Me.

The event was not only about spreading awareness for the needs of teens in foster care but also about bringing change to their everyday lives. 

"If they’re not prepared, that means they’re out there on the street and we are making that difference," Reed said.

That’s why Reed says they’re working to stay connected, guiding the teens and bringing them comfort between each transition. 

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"You’ll see all those suitcases because when they have to move from place to place, which the average time is 6 moves, they’re given a garbage bag to move," she said. "You’re talking about being abandoned again."

Reed said across the country, 23,000 teens age out of the foster care system, with about 600 here in North Carolina. 20% of them would instantly be homeless on their 18th birthday.

Advocates like Reed say they will continue to highlight the importance of love, and they’re hoping to encourage more people to get involved in the community, one that’s stronger together.

Contact Tradesha Woodard at twoodard1@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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