MITCHELL, S.D. – Abbott House is looking for individuals, businesses and corporations who want to help provide a home and a family for six foster boys in Mitchell while doubling their investment. Avera Health has partnered with the Abbott House fund drive effort to provide a dollar-to-dollar match for the next $20,000 in donations.
Abbott House kicked off a $1 million fund drive in Mitchell in January to provide funding for a therapeutic foster home for six boys and four independent living apartments for young adult men. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck.
“We have been extremely blessed by the Mitchell community,” Eric Klooz, Abbott House executive director said. “We needed $1 million to purchase and renovate an existing structure, as well as provide a small endowment fund to support maintenance of the home and supplies for the young people living there.”
Klooz continued, “Just like your children and my children, our foster children want to play football or basketball or be in show choir, and we do not have any funding to support these activities. The endowment will help us give these young boys the life experiences we all want our children to have.”
Foundations, corporations and individuals have committed $697,769.60 to date. The goal of the community campaign is to raise the remainder of the funding needed – $302,231.40 – by the end of 2020. “The gift from Avera Health will help us get even closer,” Klooz said. Gifts and pledges of all sizes are being accepted. One-time gifts of any amount and pledges of three to five years are also an option. There are also opportunities to support or name specific rooms within the home.
“As foster care needs increase, Abbott House has been asked by the South Dakota Department of Social Services to provide families and homes for teens and young adults,” Klooz said. “We are honored to be able to help young people ‘finish the race’ by supporting them as they transition out of treatment into foster care and eventually become young adults living independently.”
When this home is completed, Abbott House will provide homes and families for 42 girls and boys ages 10 to 17 in its foster care program. In addition, it will have eight apartments for young women and four for young men across the state. By the end of 2020, those numbers will increase again with the addition of another boys’ therapeutic foster home and independent living apartments in Rapid City.
Donations to support the foster home for boys can be made by calling Virginia at 605-996-2486 ext. 120 or online at www.abbotthouse.org. Gifts can also be mailed to Abbott House, PO Box 700, Mitchell, SD, 57301. For more information about Abbott House, please contact Eric Klooz or Virginia Wishard Lambert at (605) 996-2486.