B&GH recognized 2019 Foster Parent of the Year Mary Alexander

May 8, 2019

2019 Foster Parent of the Year Mary AlexanderLake Waccamaw, NC - May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month, but Boys and Girls Homes got the celebration started early with the presentation of the 2019 Foster Parent of the Year Award to Mary Alexander during the April Board of Trustees Meeting.

“Foster parents are key to fulfilling our mission to meet the needs of abused and neglected children,” said President Gary Faircloth. “For many years residential services has been the core of what we do, but now providing foster homes allows us to serve even more children. Having this special recognition during our spring board meeting is just one way to recognize all that these amazing individuals are doing to make a difference in the lives of children.”

Alexander has been a foster parent for B&GH since 2007.

“Mary has fostered 48 children since she has been licensed with Boys and Girls Homes,” said Christy Humphrey, B&GH director of family foster care, who nominated Alexander for the award. “She has worked hard and is able to help children with a variety of needs.”

Alexander has not only worked well with the children, but has also worked well with the Departments of Social Services and the families of the children she fosters.

“Different DSS departments have acknowledged at various times that Mary is a great asset because she is always willing to do shared parenting and to go the extra mile to push for families to work with DSS to get their child returned to them,” Humphrey said. “I think Mary has been successful in this many times because she is also a Guardian ad Litem. Mary doesn’t come across as threatening to parents, but instead she tries to boost them up to do what they need to do to get their children returned to their home.”

According to Humphrey, Alexander focuses very specifically on the children she accepts into care.

“She works hard with each of the children in her home,” Humphrey said. “Mary wants to give every child the chance to have a loving and nurturing home and does not base her decision to foster on the past actions of the child, but on how much she thinks she can help that child. She often states that she ‘wants to make a difference for her children, to make sure she is helping them.’

“She is a foster parent who seeks out services that will enrich the children’s lives, help them to flourish, and build their self-esteem,” Humphrey continued. “She understands the trauma that the children have experienced in their lives as well as the trauma just from being removed from their families and placed in foster care. She works diligently to make sure they receive the mental health care and any other support they need to work through that trauma.”

Vice President for Community Based Services Donna Yalch said, “Mary is a shining example of the amazing foster parents we have the privilege of working with. Our foster parents make everything possible. They are the ones who are there every day providing love, safety, security, and stability for children who have been abused and neglected. It is truly a calling and we have been blessed by those who have answered the cry for children in need of a loving caring home.”

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children's therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.