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Diakon continues participation in Wendy's Wonderful Kids program

Mechanicsburg, Pa. (February 11, 2012)

For the sixth year in a row, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care is participating in the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.

In late December, Diakon received a 2012 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids grant of $67,500 from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

“We are delighted to be able to continue to participate in this wonderful program,” says Elisa Esh, executive director of Diakon Adoption & Foster Care. “The program has been described as the heart and soul of the Dave Thomas Foundation. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, held to the simple belief that every child deserves a permanent home and loving family. He made it his life mission to encourage others to take responsibility for these children and to be a loud voice for foster-care adoption.”

Throughout 2011, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care’s Mechanicsburg-based Wendy’s Wonderful Kids site succeeded in facilitating 10 matches and one adoption finalization. In late December, there were 10 additional children in pre-adoptive placements, with those placements scheduled to finalize through adoption early in 2012.

The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program began in 2006 with only six operating sites in the U.S.  During the last six years the program has expanded to include 122 operating sites covering all 50 states and several Canadian provinces and territories.

The foundation awards grants to carefully selected public and private agencies to hire adoption professionals who implement intensive, child-focused recruitment strategies for children who have been waiting the longest for a permanent family and who, typically, have histories of abandonment, abuse, neglect, and multiple placements.

The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program focuses on transitioning these children from foster homes, group homes, or residential treatment facilities to permanent homes by searching the children’s inner circle of family and other important individuals and moving outward to the local surrounding community in which they live. The program empowers children by involving them as much as possible in the recruitment process and providing an avenue for them to voice their needs, wants, and concerns.

Diakon Adoption & Foster Care has been serving children in need since the early 1970s; it has offices in Mechanicsburg, York, and Topton, Pa.