This coming Sunday, on June 23rd will be City of Cedar Rapids' District 5 Council member Ashley Vanorny's 34th birthday. She has chosen once again to dedicate it to one of her favorite nonprofits, Families Helping Families of Iowa, where she has served on the Board of Directors since 2017.

She told me this organization has continuously offered opportunities for area foster children to ensure they have the funding they need for academic tutoring, school supplies, clothing, activities and events for these children to provide them the support they need and deserve.

Council member Vanorny stated that out of her appreciation for her parents, including her late father, she became committed to doing "whatever she was able to be a part of the supportive network to ensure that every child has a chance to succeed in this world," like her parents afforded her.

When I spoke to Ashley, she explained that children do not enter foster care on their own accord, yet will disproportionately have difficulties succeeding in school, experience trauma and have greater healthcare needs. She told me, "It takes a village to raise a child and I appreciate you considering being a part of our village in honor of my birthday."

She hopes to have the community donate in the following themed amounts and has a goal of reaching at least $1000: $3, $4, $6, $23, $34, $85. Anyone interested in donating can follow this link.

Families Helping Families of Iowa, INC (FHP) is a grassroots organization with humble beginnings, founded in October 2004 with $100 and a vision. The vision was and is to raise awareness and provide access to basic need items and resources for children in foster care throughout the state of Iowa.

Again, if you want to help Council member Vanorny raise as much money as possible for foster children here in Iowa, please visit this link.