Taking Stock of Our 2020 Accomplishments
In the fall of 2020, our virtual retreat theme was Survivor to Thriver, which attendees found inspiring in the landscape of 2020. We are using these same resiliency skills to adapt to changing needs and thrive as an organization. Over the past 20 years, On Your Feet has built something special, serving the unmet needs of a community that has historically been invisible. In doing so, On Your Feet has become a revered resource and model for post-placement birthparent services, not just in the Midwest, but nationwide.
Over the course of these 20 years, while adoption has changed significantly, birthparents still find themselves left out of the conversation and lacking services at times when they are vulnerable and struggling with the trauma of placement. On Your Feet shines a light on their stories and their important place in the adoption triad. As birthmom and Activism in Adoption speaker Cathy Crossno shared with our audience this fall, she did not know anyone who was adopted when she placed her daughter 19 years ago. "I love that there's a resource like On Your Feet Foundation. It's amazing seeing how far adoption has come because we didn't have support back then. With On Your Feet, we have a place where birthparents can find comfort and hope during a time when they can otherwise feel terrified and alone.”
In 2020, On Your Feet Foundation served more people than ever before, tackling relevant issues and adapting our services to meet the needs of birthparents across the US and Canada:
- Through a new adoption education initiative, Activism in Adoption, we served nearly 100 triad members and adoption professionals and are poised to reach many more with this innovative program bringing all members of the triad to the table for open and honest conversations on challenging topics.
- 15 birthmoms attended our first virtual retreat and more virtual retreats are planned for early 2021.
- Case management services reached nearly 200 birthparents with the help of an additional case manager in Wisconsin.
- BirthmomsConnect Zoom sessions allowed us to reach broader and wider audiences with guided and inclusive support.
- Special events such as community art making and our Birthmother’s Day Zoom event reached over 150 triad members.
- More than 250 birthparents are connected through a number of closed Facebook groups, including our birthfathers support group.
- By utilizing funds raised through our Emergency Assistance Fund, we were able to help a birthmom get back to work with the purchase of a laptop and provided housing assistance to two birthmoms who suffered medical emergencies.
In reading these accomplishments, we can proudly say that we are thriving as an organization. In order to continue this important work, we need your help to meet the increased demands on our services. In honor of 20 amazing years of serving the adoption community, please make your gift today to ensure many more years of birthparent services.