CYPRESS, Texas - Many of us spend this Easter weekend surrounded by family, however, for those in the foster system, it may be difficult to have that sense of community during this time.
So different groups came together Saturday afternoon to hopefully change that.
The sounds of children’s laughter filled a parking lot in Cypress as hundreds of foster kids and their families were treated to a fun afternoon.
"For parents to open up their home to be the voice of hope for children, we wanted to be a voice of hope for the families," said Dr. Candice Matthews, the National Minister of Politics for the New Black Panther Nation.
It was a no-brainer for these organizations to get together to offer free food, haircuts, and more, "because we care," said Rosemary Tucker, founder of the Hoodies4Healing Foundation.
"Because we care, we want them to know that they’re not by themselves. We want them to know that they’re not alone. We want them to know that we are the prayer that they prayed. Want them to know that listen, there is someone out here that just wants to give you a break."
The gratitude from these families was more than apparent. Foster mom Shawntee Christian said, "This shows that the community is here to support you. This shows that you’re not alone. There’s a lot of opportunities for foster parents and there’s always foster parents needed."
In 2022, the Texas Department of Family Protective Services says there were over 1,200 children in need of a foster parent.
Without that structure, there are systemic problems that follow.
"That child can actually leave one system going to the prison system," said Matthews. "If not that, they can straight into the human trafficking system. Because a lot of your human traffickers plague on children that are in foster care. So we have to be the voice of change We have to be the ones to put our foot down and say no more."