October 2015

Diakon foster parent responds to children's needs in other part of world as well

Syrian brothers show their happiness over a stroller donated for their little sister; the stroller was donated by another organization in Macedonia the same time Storey was.

Heidi Storey of York County, Pennsylvania—a Diakon Adoption & Foster Care foster parent—finds herself drawn to a mission of helping children.

Recently, however, her focus extended beyond the children whose lives she and her husband are changing as foster parents—to the international crisis of refugees fleeing Syria and surrounding regions.

Determined to do something meaningful for the youngest refugees, Storey collected cash and donations to try to give the children a small taste of being a child again. She took crayons, coloring books and candy, plus jackets and coats, spending ten days in Macedonia doing what she could to help. (The daughter of international missionaries, Storey had lived much of her youth in Macedonia. A feature story on the Storey family will appear in the Fall issue of Dialog, Diakon's corporate publication, to be distributed in early December.)

“If we all do what we can,” she says, “it all adds up.”

“When the refugees land in Greece, they travel north through Macedonia towards Western Europe,” Storey explains. “Some days, 10,000 people enter the country, so I was able to work on the ground there.”

Storey praises her various “families” for their support—her Diakon Adoption & Foster Care family, her family of co-workers at the Jewish Community Center at which she works, and her actual family.

Heidi Storey, back to camera, offers a sweater to a Syrian child on a recent trip to Macedonia to aid refugee children.

“Within 12 hours, I had so much stuff,” she says. “The support from my community was wonderful. In a way, those refugees are kind of like foster kids. They left so much behind. Little things made all the difference to them.”

In fact, Storey quotes the expression: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

To her, it’s a way of life. “If we all do what we can,” she says, “it all adds up.”

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