Foster children’s fund established at Outer Banks Community Foundation

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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A new endowed fund to support the needs of local foster children has been established by a Southern Shores couple at the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Gary Reed is a Dare County Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteer; he and wife Dr. Elaine “Lainie” Walls Reed are the parents of a son they adopted almost 40 years ago through a foster care program. The Reeds have created a designated fund that will benefit both Dare County foster children and the Guardian ad Litem programs in Dare and Currituck counties.

“We’ve admired Outer Banks Community Foundation’s mission and work since retiring here several years ago,” said Lainie, “and as we became familiar with its funds, we looked for meaningful ways to help under-served populations. Gary volunteers with the local GAL program to advocate for foster children in court appearances; that organization needs funds to recruit, train, and retain qualified volunteers. My focus is shaped by my own parenting experiences and familiarity with those of other foster families. Foster children need to feel like they ‘fit in;’ helping a foster family buy an additional waterpark summer pass, fund piano lessons, or make the deposit on a class trip helps those children benefit from activities others may take for granted. The fund is starting small, but we hope caring community members will be inspired to help it grow.”

“We are thrilled to know there is a new fund to enhance the lives of foster children, as we realize the enrichment experiences received in a child’s formative years can build resilience and have many other positive impacts,” said Ricki W. Tillett, Dare County Guardian ad Litem supervisor. “There is no doubt that support from this fund will make a difference in the outcomes of the children we serve.”

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Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that manages more than 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to nonprofits, administers more than 60 scholarship programs and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $13 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.