Jimmy Wayne and Project Meet Me Halfway In celebration of May as National Foster Care Month, FosterClub, the national network for young people in foster care, has named Jimmy Wayne as it’s National Celebrity Spokesperson.
>> Download then put up a free poster of Jimmy Wayne, FosterClub's new national spokesperson!

"We’re very proud to have Jimmy Wayne represent our organization and the half million young people in foster care," says FosterClub Director Celeste Bodner. "Millions have been touched by his songs, and I know that many more will be inspired by his personal story and commitment to improving life for foster youth." In celebration of National Adoption Month Download a free Jimmy Wayne Song

Jimmy Wayne gives a message to FosterClub's member, May 4, 2010 from FosterClub on Vimeo.

For Wayne, who has topped the charts with singles like "Do You Believe Me Now," Stay Gone," and "I Love You This Much," the opportunity to serve as the national spokesperson for young people in foster care is personally significant. Wayne grew up in foster and speaks from personal experience about the importance of supporting foster youth, particularly those who are forced to make it on their own when they turn 18 years old and support from the foster care system is cut off. While most young people celebrate their 18th birthday, the milestone represents a significant hazard for nearly 30,000 foster youth who will "age out" of foster care and be left to fend for themselves. When young people age out and are cut off from foster care services, they're more likely than their peers to end up in jail, on public assistance or pregnant. They're also less likely to have a job or go to college. A quarter will find themselves homeless. “From my past, I know first hand what young people in foster care are facing. Young people in this country should not be faced with that kind of situation - especially kids who we’ve stepped in to care for when their families couldn’t," Wayne said. "If the bit of celebrity I have can help me raise awareness of this situation --that there are kids and young people out there who need our help, then I feel like I have accomplished my goal.” Fortunately for Wayne, Bea and Russell Costner provided a second chance when they took him in at age 16. "Bea and Russell took a chance on me, and I was certainly no poster child," Wayne said. "I was this teenager with long hair and tattoos, but they saw past that to the scared kid I was. They offered me a place to live and the opportunity to go back to school. In turn, I had to meet them halfway by helping myself, which meant studying, doing chores and following the rules. They provided me with a way to help myself make a life. They gave me a home, love and respect." Researchers say former foster kids who have someone to rely on do better than those who don't. A new study also shows that outcomes improve if young people are allowed to stay in foster care beyond age 18. Right now, only a handful of states extend foster care beyond 18. While several other states are planning to do so in response to a new federal law, state budget problems could put a crimp in those plans. "Turning age 18 doesn’t magically make a person ready for life on their own as adult. Most American young people depend on their parents well into their 20s," says Bodner. "It’s not realistic to expect young people from foster care, who have often experienced significant trauma and instability growing up, to live independently earlier than their peers." When it comes to supporting young people, Wayne walks the walk – literally. Earlier this year, he kicked off his Meet Me Halfway project, and began his walk halfway across the country to raise awareness of homeless children, teens and young adults who age out of the foster care system. “I'm not asking people to come out and walk with me, but I am asking them to meet me halfway by getting involved-- donate money, adopt a kid, learn more about the foster child/foster parent program in your local community,” says Wayne. “There's so much one person can do, and so many ways they can make a difference,” says Wayne. “It just takes one person to help someone to a better life." HOW YOU CAN HELP Support young people in foster care with a donation to FosterClub — Text the word “foster” to 85944 to make a $10 donation to benefit young people in foster care (charged to your cell phone bill). Visit www.fosterclub.org for more information. Follow Jimmy Wayne in his effort — Follow Jimmy as he walks on his Meet Me Halfway campaign and learn more about the issues facing young people in foster care at http://meetmehalfway.jimmywayne.com Get involved in National Foster Care Month — Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the plight of hundreds of thousands of children and youth in the foster care system. Learn more at www.fostercaremonth.org.

Jimmy Wayne Partners with FosterClub from FosterClub on Vimeo.

About National Foster Care Month Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the plight of hundreds of thousands of children and youth in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved – as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways. We call on all Americans to help change the lifetime of a child or youth in foster care. Learn more at www.fostercaremonth.org. About FosterClub FosterClub is the national network for young people currently in, or who have experienced, the foster care system. Every 2 minutes, a child’s life changes as they enter foster care. For more than 513,000 young people living in foster care across the nation, FosterClub is a place to turn for advice, information and hope. FosterClub’s website, publications, events and annual AllStar internship program offer the tools and resources these youth need to connect with one another, to share their experiences and insights, and to achieve personal success. For more information, please visit www.fosterclub.org.
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Visit Jimmy Wayne's official Meet Me Halfway website Visit Jimmy Wayne's official JoggleBug Channel More on Jimmy Wayne on FosterClub Download the official press release Jimmy Wayne and Project Meet Me Halfway

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A former Foster kid &

Anonymous's picture

A former Foster kid & homeless teen, Country singer Jimmy Wayne's Project Meet Me Halfway Walk halfway across America (starting January 1, 2010 in Nashville, TN and ending August 1, 2010 in Phoenix, AZ) was intended to draw attention to the plight of Foster teens aging out of the Foster Care system, many at risk and too many actually ending up homeless. And his goal was accomplished and did succeed! Many many people who had never thought about Foster kids & teens, or ever realized the special difficulties they face, were made aware and now care about this important issue. Jimmy Wayne's walk may be over but the cause to find ways to improve the outcome for Foster grads goes on!!! Please support www.FosterClub.com and www.projectMMH.org !!! Thank you Jimmy Wayne, an American hero!!! ~Connie Lee


Anonymous's picture

Working with foster children

Anonymous's picture

Working with foster children who have been abuse and nelected, it great to know we have one more on our side, welcome Jimmy, it's even better to knowing one more has made it. For all of the children out their....speak up to help the younger children.
God Bless & may God keep us all in his loving arms.

Jimmy you have inspired so

Anonymous's picture

Jimmy you have inspired so many people by becoming a great person and not only that a great artist.. u have overcome so much just as I have.. you truly are a great example of what kids can be with great mentors and good loving foster parents..