Grant Me Hope
We are a marketing initiative to find older foster children adoptive homes before they age out of the foster care system. We do this through the production of personalized videos of foster children who are waiting for adoption.
We are actively helping foster children in the states of Michigan, Ohio and Mississippi. We are scheduled to begin producing and airing videos in Georgia in January 2021. We are excited about this new opportunity to expand and help foster children find their forever homes.
We hear regularly how our videos help interested families see the personalities of the children and help them get to know the child. The videos allow the children to shine and to show off their own unique traits. This is vital in garnering the interest of potential parents, especially those who may not have considered adoption before. Visit our Adoptable Children page and click on a child’s name to meet him or her.
See how our videos helped foster children meet their forever families.
When was Grant Me Hope founded?
The idea was formed Sept. 11, 2014.
Founder: Helen Zeerip, President of Teddy’s Transport
On September 11, 2014, Helen Zeerip, President of Teddy’s Transport, was watching a training video required to renew her foster care license. This video discussed the difficulty of getting foster children in the United States adopted and how huge this problem really is. A young boy in the video, roughly 15 years old, said “My older siblings told me once I reached a certain age, I would be unadoptable.” He paused and, looking sad, said, “No one should steal your hope.”
That statement changed Helen’s life – she agreed with him and thought that it needed to change. The video continued to explain 600,000 children spend time in the foster care system each year in the U.S. Of those available for adoption half are considered unadoptable because they are too old, are part of sibling groups or have medical or emotional issues.
Zeerip learned that California did a marketing campaign to feature its foster children on TV and had a huge success rate of finding them forever homes. Helen then called Jeanette Hoyer, then Executive Director of Pathways MI, and Barb Aalderink of Fusion Graphic Consultants and said “If I can come up with the underwriting/donations, can you help me get these foster children on TV?” They both gave her an enthusiastic “Yes!” They met and set the goal of airing the first child the first week of January 2015 and they made it happen.
How does this help the community?
If a child turns 18 and ages out of the foster care system, 25% of them end up homeless. We can’t deal with that. Our goal is to find these children loving, stable homes and families that will raise them to be successful contributing adults to our community. So our focus with Grant Me Hope is to market the older foster children before they term out of the system.
Why is this important?
Homelessness is only the beginning for children who grew up in foster care. Visit our STAGGERING STATISTICS page to learn more about why we work every day to encourage adoption through foster care.
What are Grant Me Hope’s three goals?
- Educate the public about the plight of the aged out foster child
- Recruit more families to limit the number of children in institutions
- Get as many children adopted as possible
Grant Me Hope Board of Directors
- Helen Zeerip, President & Founder | President of Teddy’s Transport, Holland, MI
- Barb Aalderink, Vice President | President of Fusion Graphic Consultants, Holland, MI
- Nathan Shabaz, Secretary | Consultant, Holland, MI
- Craig Zeerip, Treasurer | Vice President of Teddy’s Transport, Holland, MI
- Michael Hill, board member | Founder, Total Control Health Plans
- Mark Bergsma, board member | Senior Commercial Account Executive, Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance
- Sarah Lilly, Sarah Lilly Relationship Based Reality
- Anna Vandeventer, owner, Baert Baron Mansion B&B, Zeeland, MI
For more information about, or if you are interested in serving on the Grant Me Hope Board of Directors, please contact President Helen Zeerip at 616-836-7949.
Tax deductible donations can be mailed to:
Grant Me Hope
930 Interchange Drive
Holland MI 49423
*Learn other ways to support our mission here: Donations