This month, we’re highlighting people that go above and beyond… people who give themselves in amazing ways to help others
MACON, Ga. — It’s special whenever another human being reaches out to care for someone else. It’s giving a piece of your heart, time and compassion.
This month, we’re highlighting people that go above and beyond… people who give themselves in amazing ways to help others. Our series starts with a Bibb County couple dedicated to ‘Taking Care’ of kids going through tough times.
It’s 5:30 am, long before the sun comes up.
“My baby was so little when I first got him. He was four and he’s 14 now,” said Valerie Blash.
Valerie and Tony Blash have a long history as foster parents.
“We’ve had over 100+ kids in our home; closer to 200 at some point, whether it was overnight or for an extended amount of time,” said Tony.
If some of those kids like Harrison, Maya and Lawrence could talk, they would call the Blashes ‘mom and dad.’ Despite feeding tubes, bed lifts and medication, the couple has adopted some of the most fragile children.
“I used to tell everybody who said, ‘How do you do that?’ I said their body is my body, and the first thing I do in the morning is take care of their bodies like it’s my body,” said Valerie.
“There is a scripture that says take care of the orphans and widows, and this is true religion in the eyes of God. We’re on this Earth not just for ourselves, but to help our fellow man and to help others have the same comfort, love and protection that not everyone is able to get,” said Tony.
Mickala Wright is with the Division of Family and Children Services, and she’s the person that calls the Blashes in the middle of the night if a kid needs shelter, kindness and a place to sleep.
“It shocks me sometimes because I’m like… how do you do all of this? How do you have so much energy? How can you take these teenagers? How do you take these medically fragile children? And they just do it because they love it,” Wright said. “They’re always willing to help us, which is amazing to me because they are of an age and we don’t have a lot of that.”
‘Of an age’ is a courteous way of saying the Blashes aren’t spring chickens. Tony is 59 and Valerie is 65.
At a time when most folks are retiring and enjoying their golden years, the Blashes act like folks in their 20s, working nonstop and creating memories with strangers who come into their home and leave as family.
“When I see these pictures, I see our legacy… I see the next generation that if we needed them to come in and take over for us or take care of their siblings, they’d do it in a heartbeat. They’d give It their all because they know we did it for them. This is our history and it’s going to carry on long after we’re gone,” said Tony.
They’ve left a footprint, walking through a way of life devoted to unconditional love.
Right now, DFCS estimates they need dozens of foster families in Bibb County and hundreds throughout the state.
The requirements? You must be 21-years-old, you must go through a training program, take a medical exam, and show proof of residency and financial stability. They will also do a background check.
They especially need parents willing to take in siblings, groups of three or more, and older children like teenagers.
Click here for more information about fostering children in Georgia. The site has more about the process, a schedule of information sessions, and a list of resources.
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