Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, Avedis, team up for building project

Vicky O. Misa

The Avedis Foundation and Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, a state-wide foster care agency, recently took on a partnership in 2018 to collaborate on a building project that would provide homes for sibling sets in foster care in Pottawatomie County.

Contracted by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Circle of Care is working to increase the number of foster parents in Oklahoma.

Since the agency places a priority on keeping siblings together while they are in foster care, accommodations with adequate space are a must.

Circle of Care's Legacy of Care campaign is designed to fund the construction and support of eight large, custom, single-family homes and four clubhouses/activity centers throughout the state to accommodate up to 48 foster siblings.

To help advance the Legacy of Care campaign, the Avedis Foundation doled out a $450,000 grant to Circle of Care.

The partnership has succeeded in constructing two foster sibling homes — in addition to a clubhouse/activity center — in Shawnee. The homes are designed to accommodate up to six foster children each with trained, certified foster parents. The clubhouse will be used for recruiting, training and supporting foster parents from Pottawatomie County and surrounding communities.

Avedis Board Chair Mark Finley, said the Avedis Foundation is very pleased to be a partner in the project.

“Giving sisters and brothers a chance to stay together during difficult times in their lives is an idea that touched the hearts of the staff and board members of the foundation,” he said. “Several of our board members visited the site regularly to view the progress, giving us updates during the construction process”

He offered his thanks to Circle of Care for having the confidence in this community and its volunteers to see that this project is not only a success, but also a model for other communities.

“We’re excited to open these two homes and continue positively impacting the lives of siblings in the foster care system,” Circle of Care President and CEO Keith Howard said. “With the support of the Avedis Foundation, local churches and other community leaders, we are committed to making an impact in Pottawatomie County and beyond.”

The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at 44883 Hardesty Road in Shawnee. Following the ceremony and home tours, a light lunch will be hosted by Rock Creek Baptist Church, which is directly across the street.

The public is welcome to attend.

About Circle of Care

Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care is a 101 year-old faith-based child welfare agency serving children and youth through three programs. Its foster care service recruits, trains and supports volunteer foster parents to care for foster children. Support includes clothing allowance, equipment co-op, support groups and ongoing training and education.

For more information about fostering, call 405-530-2081 or email Keith Howard at keith.howard@circleofcare.org.