There are more than four thousand children in foster care in Mississippi. About 500 of those children are free for adoption. Mississippi Families for Kids is working to find permanent homes for children with special needs, older children, as well as those who have been abused and neglected. The group is also getting some help to raise money to continue programs to help children and the families who adopt them.
Linda West has been working on adoption efforts in this state her entire career. As Executive Director of Mississippi Families for Kids, she says on the most difficult days she has to remember finding homes for hard to place children, like a young girl with multiple sclerosis.
"They thought nobody's going to adopt this child and low and behold we found a family in Yazoo who thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread", West told us.
Like most non-profits funding is crucial to continue the work.
"We follow our families for 3 years after the adoption because we realize the problems are not over once they finalize so you have to be there to provide those supports. We don't have any funding from the state nor the federal government", added West.
Hays Collins has come up with a way to help raise money through the first annual Midnight Blues Ride. Supporters will ride bicycles through Fondren and Downtown Jackson.
"It's a 100% safe. We have police escorts, we have vans driving behind the riders to , to pick anybody up that can't finish or has a flat. We can fix flat tires and all that stuff", Collins said.
Collins says this is a unique event and he is hoping more riders will sign up to participate.
"It's not a race. It's not something that you have to be an avid cyclist. Whether you have the top of the line bike or the bike you just bought at Walmart it doesn't matter", said Collins.
The Midnight Blues Ride will be held at Smith Wills Stadium. It is 17 miles and the first of its kind in Mississippi.
The Midnight Blues Ride is sponsored by Jackson area Wendy's restaurants. Registration begins Friday night at Smith Wills at 10:00, the ride begins at midnight.
For more information you can call (601) 957-7670 or go to the website:www.midnightbluesride.raceonline.com
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