TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A mission based out of Texarkana is serving the community one child at a time. The woman at the center of it all said her sights are set on transforming of the foster care system in the surrounding states.
“As a woman of faith I see that this is all God-moving and God opening these doors to take care of his children,” said Executive Director of For the Sake of One, Angela Coston.
Amidst the pain and heartache often associated with the foster care system, Coston is providing hope and a sense of peace for the community at large.
“We started as a church ministry in 2014,” Coston said. “The goal is always reunification. That's our goal, just to heal families in whatever way, whether it's through adoption or through foster care or through kids being reunified.”
Coston described the mission as “wrapping their arms around everyone involved.”
“My husband and I were foster parents and saw that there needed to be supported, so we created a ministry,” said Coston.
It was in February of 2017 that Coston said she was called by God to quit her teaching job and, “take a leap of faith and start a non-profit and do that full time.”
According to their Facebook page, “at any given time there are over 200-300 kids in foster care in Miller, Bowie, and Cass Counties.” It is through social media Coston said she is able to bring awareness to a larger audience.
When it comes to resources for these families, Coston said they are positioned in somewhat of a no man’s land.
“That's kind of where our name is from, For the Sake of One,” said Coston. “I know that there are thousands of kids in Foster care and I can't save them all. But we can make a difference for one.”
For the Sake of One works to assist their community through five areas:
- Maintaining a resource room for current foster families.
- “Adopting” new case workers.
- Mentorship for the biological parents.
- Recruit new foster families.
- Support current foster families.
“Five percentage of case workers, will the quit within the first year,” said Coston. “I think it's 75% likelihood of finding a permanent place within a year if [a child] just has one case worker, but if they have two or more, that drops to 14 %, and if they have 3 or more, it drops to 4%.”
Coston said she had a shift in perspective on parents who have children removed from their care after having a biological child of her own.
“I thought of the biological parents as just kind of the evil person, who, how could you ever do that?” Coston said. “I have two biological children and one adopted child. After my first biological child, I realized what I had going on with me was postpartum depression. I had a whole support system that wrapped around me so that I could tell me husband, I need a break. I need you to take the children so that I don’t do something I regret. It hit home to me how much of a support system I have and how little of a support system a lot of the parents have who are having their children removed.”
Only a year and a half into Coston’s mission, she was called to the national stage.
“In September of 2018 I was able to go to Washington DC and get this congressional pin,” Coston said as she pointed to the silver Congressional pin on her chest.
That national honor was made possible by Texas Representative John Ratcliffe who nominated Coston as an “Angel in Adoption.”
“It's insane! Not anything that would have been on my radar at all,” Coston said. “One of the big things I took away from that is I feel like I have a voice. So I've been talking to representatives in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana now to try to encourage them to try to create change to make the foster care community better.”
Coston said she isn’t of the opinion that making big change is going to be easy.
“It's not something that happens overnight, but that mindset needs to be changed,” said Coston. “I actually just wrote a blog about this last night. In second Samuel seven, David's talking about ‘why me? God why did you bless me with all of these things? You know who I am. You know what I've really done.’ And I kind of feel the same way. God could have called anyone to do this. All I did was say and have fallen in obedience.”