Gr8 Acts of Kindness: Teacher turned volunteer works to improve foster care

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 11:00 PM CST
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - It’s a Friday morning in Paragould.

We have to move fast to surprise Lindsay Roberts.

“Good morning, Lindsay!” I said.

“That’s why we’re here. The foster families and your passion for helping them.” Lindsay was working as a teacher at Greene County Tech Primary School when she felt a pull on her heart. “I always wanted to be a foster parent,” Lindsay Roberts explained.

“I always thought that would be a neat thing to do.”

She was trying to get her husband to an informational meeting, but his work as a farmer then was demanding.

“I was like there’s a meeting tonight,” Lindsay recalled.

She told her husband, “Let’s go!” He said, “I can’t; we’re harvesting.

Literally, an hour before the meeting, it opened up and poured, and he said, ‘Ok, let’s go to the meeting. But I’m not signing up for this. We’re just going to get information because he knows how I am.’

Then suddenly, her husband’s attitude changed.

“At the end she says, ‘Who wants to sign up?’”

“His hand goes up in the air,” Lindsay remembers.

“I’m like what are you doing? You said we weren’t signing up,” she said. “He said, ‘No, we’re signing up!’”

Lindsay and her husband, Quincy, and their daughter, Ella, opened their home in 2017.

“What you have done is just remarkable,” I said to Lindsay as we began surprising her with the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.

Along the way, Lindsay began to see the needs of foster children and foster families. She recognized the potential for growing the Greene County Foster Parents Association and taking it beyond Greene County.

Together We Foster was born.

“We service about a hundred kids a month,” Terry Rowland, a Together We Foster board member and foster parent, explained. “You know children are more abused because parents are not in the right mental state and they’re neglected.”

They needed a place where foster parents could get clothes, diapers, and other essentials 24/7.

“It’s not any child’s fault that they’re in foster care,” Lindsay said. “I just want them to have the same love that my own kids have.”

The clothing closet began in a church.

“If a child comes in with nothing, we want to at least give them the first four or five days worth of clothing to wear,” Lindsay said.

And soon, the clothing closet outgrew the space.

“When she has an idea, she’ll ask, ‘Now what do you girls think?’” Terry said. “She always asks us and she’ll say, ‘Let’s pray about this.’”

“Whenever you meet a roadblock or something--a bump in the road--I’ve heard that you pray, and you pray hard,” I said to Lindsay.”

“And God always provides,” she answers.

“And he brings something bigger,” I said.

“Bigger than we could ever imagine,” Lindsay responds.

Not only has Lindsay grown the clothing closet, but her own home grew in the process. She and her husband opened their home to foster children.

“Sometimes there’s police involvement. Sometimes there’s terrible things and I look at those kids and my heart is broken for them because of the things they’ve endured,” Lindsay explains.

One particular little boy stole their hearts, and the Roberts adopted River.

“And that’s the crazy thing is that I just pray about it and God lays it out perfectly,” Lindsay said.

Still, work on behalf of other foster children continues. Lindsay arranged for new foster families to receive meals so they could bond with their children.

“We take frozen meals so the foster parents can spend time with the new placements,” Lindsay explained. “We take enough meals so that it can last through the first few nights of getting a new placement.”

The clothing closet grew.

“We have people who drive from Batesville to our clothing closet here,” Lindsay said.

Oh, and she had another idea! Visit centers. A place where children can interact with their biological parents. More private and allowing for one-on-one interaction--not a stop at a fast-food restaurant or a police station.

“Fixing to ask for a space now in Randolph and Lawrence County and I think we’ll know when it’s the right place,” Lindsay said hopefully.

“That’s why you are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness,” I announced.

The crowd counts as I place $408 into her hand.

“You’re such a blessing and a caring spirit to the youth and to me there’s nothing more important that helping a child in need,” Allen Williams, Community President of First Community Bank, said, shaking Lindsay’s hand.

“Everybody can have a part to play. You know we can all do something together,” Lindsay said.

If you would like to contribute to Together We Foster, you can do so through Paypal:

or mail a donation to:

P.O. Box 98

Walcott, AR 72474

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