Jul 26, 2016
With two teenage boys, a recent move to follow her husband’s career, and a home-based business selling Initials, Inc., products, Sandi Falloon may seem like a typical stay-at-home mom. She and her husband, Steve, have been married more than 18 years. Their move from Indiana to Ohio was a difficult decision, especially with one son finishing his first year of high school and the other son finishing his first year of middle school. “A friend told me as a mom, you’re only as happy as your saddest child,” said Sandi.
Thankfully, kids are resilient, and Sandi knows that well. Before she had her sons, she was a clinical psychologist at a residential facility for boys. “They didn’t belong there, but they had nowhere else to go,” said Sandi. She watched the children and families struggle, and she saw the disappointment or anger on the boys’ faces when they realized their parents weren’t fighting for them.
When she left her career to raise her kids, Sandi knew she’d continue to contribute in a way that would help vulnerable children. Even though she never considered herself a salesperson, she decided to work with a scrapbooking company and became involved with Trails of Hope, a summer camp for children who have lost a parent or sibling. Sandi held fundraisers to provide scrapbooks for these kids so they would have a memento of cherished times with the family member they’d lost.
Next she became connected with the home-based business Big Yellow Box by Crayola. Her garage was soon filled with donated craft kits. She called her former contact at Child Protective Services and helped distribute the kits to foster children so they would have something that was “theirs” in their new foster home. “Kids talk when they are active,” said Sandi. “I hoped these crafts would help them interact with their foster families.”
When destructive tornadoes hit Oklahoma in 2013, Sandi called her friend in Oklahoma City and asked what she could do. “Well, there’s a bunch of people walking around carrying their belongings in Walmart bags,” said her friend. Sandi got to work fundraising and providing more than 100 Initials, Inc., zip-up bags and sent them as donations.
Sandi first heard about Initials, Inc., from a partner at Big Yellow Box. She thought, “Purses?! I only have two purses in my closet.” Then she heard about Initials, Inc., iCare Foundation and thought, “now this is what I’ve been waiting for.” For every Your Best Life (YBL) case sold, 25 percent goes to support Bethany Christian Services’ foster care programs. Sandi joined Initials, Inc., as a creative partner and sold the most YBL cases that year. She has been the top YBL seller the last three years, having sold more than 1,000 cases.
“I know what happens when kids age out of foster care,” said Sandi. “I think about children graduating high school and no one cheering them on…I think of all the life events where no one is in their corner…I think about the future they deserve. They didn’t put themselves in this situation. They deserve better.”
She sees a brick wall separating these children from their forever families. “We have an opportunity to break down that wall when we’re out selling YBLs [and providing the needed funds to find these kids their families]. We’re contributing to something much bigger than us.”
There are so many teens who have been waiting years to be adopted by a loving family…and they are losing hope. It is up to us to breathe hope back into their lives again. It’s never too late and a teen is never too old for a forever family.
You have the ability to help rewrite the story for so many teens!
Because of our three-year partnership with Initials, Inc., $5 of every Your Best Life (YBL) Cases that are sold will go to help children in foster care who are available for adoption find their family through Bethany Christian Services. Visit initials-inc.com/icare, OR if you are in the Cleveland, Ohio area visit myinitials-Inc.com/sandifalloon to purchase a case today!
If you would like to learn about how you can become a foster parent or adopt from foster care, visit Bethany.org/foster-care.