Woman uses booth at Canton Trade Days to shed light on foster crisis in East Texas

Gift of Love Community

CANTON, Texas (KLTV) - Among thousands of booths selling a number of specialty goods, there’s one person at Canton Trade Days selling nothing at all.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you could find Janet Taylor, founder of the BECOME Community, standing in front of a nearly empty booth spreading an important message about the foster care crisis in Texas.

“Until three years ago, I didn’t know," said Taylor during our interview in February of 2020. "I didn’t know the crisis foster care was in Texas and it’s a real crisis. But it’s totally doable in Van Zandt County.”

As people passed by she’d have two questions for them.

“What were you doing on your 18th birthday?”

And...

“What were doing the day after?”

Those questions opened the door for those people to take a closer look at the North East Texas Heart Gallery behind her. It’s a series of images and stories featuring East Texas children who need families to take them in.

“Our organization works with kids who have aged out of Foster Care... we’d like to have no kids age out of foster care.”

Taylor told us she hopes to serve as a bridge for the Van Zandt County churches and faith communities, directly to the children in need of loving homes.

“If you think about the number of churches and you think about the number of people in those churches... surely within our church communities, surely within our faith based communities we can find 14 families that can help take care of these kids. And then there are no kids available left for adoption in Van Zandt county and we can move to other areas.”

Taylor explained she was inspired to take on this role after her personal faith journey kept leading her back to one verse.

“I came across James 1:27 that says take care of widows and orphans and not be corrupt by the world and of course I always knew there were orphans, I always knew there was foster care... but it was just not in my world.”

Already caring for her widowed mother, Taylor has been physically absent from Trade Days since the pandemic shutdown began in mid-March.

“The heart gallery has still been up... but I personally have not been there.”

Her plan is to return in-person the first week of October.

If you’d like to visit the BECOMING Community booth, it is located inside the Canton Marketplace building.

For more information on how to become involved with the BECOMING Community, click here for their Facebook page.

You can also email Janet Taylor directly, here.

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