The temperature was a crisp 45 degrees and it was pouring when the call to “Assemble ALL Heroes” was announced Saturday for the Be A Hero Event at the Miller Center in Reading.
Over 100 guests arrived in costume, mask and answered the call by Captain America, aka Mayor Eddie Moran of Reading and Commissioners Barnhardt and Rivera when it rang out in the Miller Center Lobby.
Kids and families marched down the isles to assemble with the Philadelphia Avengers, members from the Reading police and K-9 unit, and Muhlenberg Green Architects to stand united to support Foster Care and Mental Health Month.
Mayor Moran proclaimed the month of May as National Foster Care and Mental Health Month for Children to spotlight the need for families and more mental health services for those children and families who are affected each year.
The event was scheduled to be an outside event but was changed to indoors and scaled down to accommodate for the weather, but the message remains the same.
“We want to rewrite the stigma associated with foster care and with mental health issues,” said Jill Troutman vp advancement, Marketing and Communications for The Children’s Home of Reading.
“Children across Berks county and the world are still reacting to the upheaval that COVID-19 brought to families, whether that be grief, frustration, loss or the inability to go to school, said Troutman, “It has been hard on youth especially teens, and we don’t see that pressure being lifted any time soon. This event was designed for fun, family ad spotlighting the work we do through our over 20 programs.”
A dance party on the stage with all the Heroes big and small kicked off the event and replaced the orginal “Heroes Parade” that was to be held outside.
“We just want people to stop the stigma that supports mental health in children and have everyone, our whole community lead the discussion about the tremendous need for foster care families,” remarked Troutman.
“Especially teens and one’s with some special needs. During COVID the Children’s Home had to turn away over 95% of our referrals from CYS because we didn’t have families and place for kids to go to, that made our team extremely upset. We still served over 1800 children through our programs but as you can imagine, the need is greater.”
Marissa Leader, foster care recruiter said, “We need families, big and small, short and tall, no matter if you are old or young, if you are interested, just call me!”
If you are interested in learning more about The Children’s Home of Reading, foster care or any of the over 20 programs, visit buildingkidslives.org or by call at 610-478-8266.