Editor’s Note: This continues our Celebrate Community series on nonprofit organizations that improve Santa Rosa County residents’ quality of life.
JAY — Despite setbacks, My Father’s Arrows founder Sarah Ellis remains undaunted in the foster care support organization’s mission to support children in need.
“We aren't going to let delays or distractions get in the way of our goal to create a home for these children,” Ellis said.
June 27, Ellis used Facebook Live to announce a burglary happened the night before at MFA's Jay location. Someone, she said, stole men’s work boots and some speakers from the warehouse of items people donated to the Milton thrift store.
The burglary resulted in MFA installing security equipment.
“We had a wonderful outpouring of support,” Ellis said. “Volunteers have come to help improve our fencing, gates, lighting (and) security.”
Ellis has also had to postpone the 8,400-square-foot children’s home’s opening date, previously scheduled for July 15.
“We are having to do some work on the septic tank and make sure that it's the appropriate size for our project,” Ellis said. “That's the only thing that's keeping us from pulling the permits to do the final work to get open.”
MFA will announce an opening date closer to that time, Ellis said.
In the meantime, MFA launched its new website, www.myfathersarrows.org, to educate the community on foster care, provide a way to donate money directly, and allow volunteers to train online.
“There are some great videos about care for children of trauma,” Ellis said. “(There are) resource lists for biological families that are working to strengthen and reunite. We will soon also have an online catalog where people can donate specific items for the children's home.”
The Facebook page My Father's Arrows 'Ineeda' Group provides another way to support foster families. On the page, foster families in need of supplies can connect with those able to provide.
Community volunteers continually provide help to make the children’s home and farm ready for opening, too.
“We have work teams coming nearly every Saturday, and would welcome other teams to schedule a work day on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30," a spokesperson said.
Call MFA volunteer coordinator Marybeth Slade at 675-4403 for more information.