Our Story

Grant Me Hope ladies

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 great difficulty of finding adoptive homes for foster children in the U.S.  A young boy in the video, said “My older siblings told me once I reached a certain age, I would be unadoptable.” He paused, and with a sad expression said, “No one should steal your hope.”

That statement changed Helen’s life.  Something needed to change.  The video went on to explain that 600,000 children spend time in the foster care system each year in the U.S.  Of those available for adoption, 125,000 are considered “unadoptable” because they are “too old,” are part of sibling groups, or have medical or emotional issues.

Helen learned about a marketing campaign in the state of California that featured its foster children on TV and had a huge success rate of finding them forever homes. So, Helen called Jeanette Hoyer, then Executive Director of Pathways MI, and Barb Aalderink of Fusion Graphic Consultants and asked “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!

Grant Me Hope’s professionally produced, broadcast quality videos air on TV networks across the country. We are actively helping foster children in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina. We are also working with several counties in New York state. Our videos have been successful in introducing foster children hoping for adoption to perspective families.

Why is this so important?

  • 25% will become homeless
  • 48% will experience unemployment
  • They are 5 times more likely to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than their peers in the general public, and are diagnosed at a higher rate than combat veterans
  • Their rate of drug dependency is 7 times higher than their peers in the general public
  • Their rate of alcohol dependency is 2 times higher than their peers in the general public
  • Former female foster youth are 10 times more likely than other women of the same age to commit a crime and experience incarceration — male former foster youth are 4 times more likely
  • 71% of female former foster youth will become mothers by the age of 21, 14 percent become mothers at the young age of 19
  • 75% of female former foster children need government services to meet basic needs — 33% of male former foster youth require assistance
  • Only 2% further their education

A few words from our founder, Helen Zeerip

“Homelessness really bothers me. In fact, it was homelessness that motivated me to start Grant Me Hope in the first place. Imagine being a child and your parents have failed you. You’ve been taken from what you’ve known as ‘home.’ You’re scared. You’ve bounced from foster family to foster family, or institution, and now you are aging out of the system with no one. Not having any family to guide you into early adulthood or if you do have family, they may not be a good influence, or even care about your well being . . . they are lost. Something needs to change. These children don’t have to go out into the world alone with no one to love and support them. Our homes will provide the support that they need to build their security and trust, to get their drivers license, their social security card, learn how to fill out a job application, interview and to secure a job, as well as learn how to budget, do their laundry and cook. They will be provided with the support and tools to prepare them for life. They can be saved from human traffickers, gangs, and from a life of prison. They will have found a home!”

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