For Immediate Release:
C (727) 902-3287
Lumberton, North Carolina – Eckerd Kids is excited to share that CARING for Children and Eckerd Kids received $1.1 Million from the North Carolina General Assembly to expand the Angels Watch Program in four regions throughout North Carolina. CARING for Children has operated the Angels Watch program in Buncombe County for nearly 20 years, serving on average 20 families annually.
CARING for Children, a program of Eckerd Kids has operated the Angels Watch program for nearly 20 years and began in 1999 in partnership with the Junior League of Asheville. The program was funded through the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and private donations, serving about 20-25 families a year in Buncombe County. Now, thanks to funding from the North Carolina General Assembly, families in 42 Counties will have access to this program.
Caring for Children licenses and trains Angels Watch homes to provide safe, stable short-term care for children ranging in age from 0- 10, while parents address barriers that are keeping them from safely caring for their children. Angels Watch parents work together with biological parents to help children understand and adapt, while a CARING for Children caseworker oversees the family dynamic and provides helpful resources to get the family back on track. As a result, children are kept safe and involvement in the child welfare system is usually avoided.
Eckerd Kids will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 19, 2017 from 11 am – Noon in Lumberton, North Carolina to celebrate their continued expansion of the Angels Watch program and will share Shakira’s success story featured below.
Angels Watch Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Thursday, January 19, 11 am – Noon
Eckerd Kids | Angels Watch
615 North Elm Street, Lumberton, North Carolina
Shakira is 24 years old and has two young boys – ages three and 18 months. Her boys are the light of her life and she’s a great mom! Shakira has been involved with the boys’ dad since she was 16 years old, but she became a victim of domestic violence and was not able to finish her high school diploma.
Shakira reached out to a domestic violence help line for women after her boyfriend threatened to hurt the boys and the domestic violence shelter reached out to Angels Watch and Eckerd Kids’ Family Preservation Program to help this young mom.
The programs were able to help Shakira get a loaner laptop and take GED prep classes. While, studying and getting ready for her GED, Shakira utilized the Angels Watch program to care for her children overnight, and as a result she was able to get her GED in short order.
The Angels Watch family that helped care for her kids became her biggest cheerleaders to get her education completed. After getting her GED, she found a job working at a car rental agency and daycare for the kids. The night before she was supposed to start her new job, the small home daycare she found for her children called to say that the home was going to be closed due to a stomach virus epidemic. Shakira was devastated and thought she was probably going to lose the job that she hadn’t even started yet since her daycare failed.
Shakira called Eckerd Kids staff in a panic not knowing what to do, but the Angels Watch program was the natural solution for her daycare emergency. The children were placed with the same family for two days while the daycare recovered and Shakira went to her first day of work and loved it.
Today, she continues to be in contact with Eckerd Kids and with the Angels Watch family who have become a part of the village she was missing for so long.
About Eckerd Kids:
Eckerd Kids is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, that has given much-needed second chances to nearly 200,000 children and families since its founding by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in 1968. Eckerd Kids serves more than 25,000 children and their families each year through life-changing child welfare, juvenile justice and workforce development programs in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Eckerd Kids’ mission is to provide and share solutions that promote the well-being of children and families in need of a second chance.