When I first set out to find the perfect charitable organization to partner with, I was referred to Bill and Camilla Ryland at Koinonia Homes for Teens.  As soon as I met them, I knew I had found my new ‘second home’.  Their genuine love for these kids is boundless.  It’s their passion and commitment that drives the entire program. They are truly amazing!

Laura came to Koinonia Homes for Teens several years ago with much to overcome.  With the help of our loving team, she has changed the trajectory of her life and is well on her way to a success career as a Registered Nurse.  As she said, “Koinonia is a place where you can change your life and that is what I decided to do.”

Over the years we have granted Laura several scholarships to help her get through college while she worked several jobs.

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of this amazing young lady.  She and all the foster kids we work with are my heroes and they inspire me to push  forward on our annual Angels in the Alley~ Foster Kids Christmas event and my dream to build them a new school.

As an Advisory Board Member, we have the kids join us in our meeting to share their story of what their lives looked like before coming to Koinonia Homes for Teens, what they have learned since they have been here and what they plan to do with their lives after graduation.  I am typically blown away by what they have endured in their young lives…its unfathomable!

I keep a box of tissues beside me and do my best to keep my composure, but more times then not, I’m a complete blubbering mess.  All I can think of is “these are kids…no different than my two boys…they should never have had to live like this.” 

We teach the kids the importance of family and the fact that “Family” really has nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with surrounding yourself with quality people who love you, who support your dreams and who will always be there for you.  We encourage the graduating kids to stay connected to the their Koinonia family, as we will always be there for them.  Check out this heartwarming letter from a former Koinonia kid.