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***Hope Meadows

by Wes Smith

Reviewed September 23, 2001.

This is a nice book.  It tells the story of a unique community set up to care for unwanted children.  It has been set up in former military family housing at the closed Chanute AFB in Illinois.  Families are given subsidized housing plus an allowance to take in needy foster kids and adopt them.  What makes the community special is that senior citizens are also recruited to come and live in the community and give support to the families.

The book gives many stories of children, families and foster “grandparents” whose lives have been changed at Hope Meadows.  I especially liked the stories of the older men whose very health improved when they were given a new purpose in life, and made to feel valuable and important to these needy kids.

Some of the stories are sad.  It’s terrible what some kids go through before they reach the foster childcare system, or even within the system.  Some of the attempts to care for kids did not work out.  But most of the stories are beautiful tellings of how people came together to change children’s lives for the better.  The idea of giving older adults a mission of helping the young families while giving the young families extra support is a beautiful one.  I hope that the ideas of Hope Meadows will lead to similar projects throughout the country.  It’s always nice to read about something good happening.  


Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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