Five Acres Celebrates Adoption Awareness Month with First Lady of Los Angeles, Amy Elaine Wakeland

Five Acres long-time supporter, Christine Davis and best-selling author Jillian LaurenFive Acres Board Chair Ryan Dietz, Deputy Supervisor Kathyrn Barger, First Lady of Los Angeles, Ms. Amy Elaine Wakeland, Five Acres CEO Chanel BoutakidisFirst Lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland, Five Acres CEO Chanel BoutakidisFirst Lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland

From STAFF REPORTS

1:41 pm | November 1, 2016


Wednesday October 26, 2016 kicked off the 3rd annual Permanency Campaign to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month; as part of Five Acres mission to provide safety, well-being and permanency for children and families. This advocacy event was held in Pasadena at, NOOR.

The program included welcome remarks from distinguished guest and First Lady of Los Angeles (Mayor Eric Garcetti’s wife, plus foster, adoptive mom,) Amy Elaine Wakeland.

Wakeland shared in front of guests the importance and need for more foster and foster adoptive families in LA County, including Deputy Supervisor, Kathryn Barger, representatives from Assembly member Chris Holden’s office, Five Acres board members, corporate partners and major donors.

Of the 20,000 children currently living in LA County foster care, nearly half are under the age of 5 years. Wakeland encouraged guests to help advocate and be the voice for the children in foster care who cannot speak on behalf of themselves.

Wakeland’s powerful remarks were followed by a short Q and A featuring best-selling author, wife to bassist of the rock band, Weezer Scott Shriner and recent adoptive mom Jillian Lauren. Guests listened while Ms. Lauren shared her pathway to foster, adoption through Five Acres programs and told anecdotal stories (that garnered lots of laughs from the audience) and offered advice for people thinking about fostering or foster adoption.

The 2016 Permanency Campaign which will feature adoption stories and photographs on the Five Acres website and on social media throughout the month of November, has a focus on raising awareness for the need for more foster families to adopt sibling sets, (with the campaign titled, “Siblings 5A”.) More than 50% of siblings are separated when entering the foster care system. In March of this year, Five Acres opened its Transitional Shelter Care Program at the residential campus in Altadena, designed to keep sibling sets together, specifically sisters. Since opening, Five Acres has served more than 175 girls.

In 2014, Five Acres launched its first Permanency Campaign with “Boy 5A” a sculpture of a four year old boy representing the 20,000 children currently living in LA County foster care. The campaign included corporate partners “fostering” Boy 5A in various lobbies, courtyards and offices around the Los Angeles and Pasadena areas. The campaign concluded with Boy 5A sculpture becoming “adopted” by Berkshire Hathaway Foundation by way of a contribution to Five Acres.

In 2015, Five Acres introduced the community to, “Girl 5A” a five year old girl featured in a one minute video sharing her story of going through 11 different foster homes and still needing to find a forever family. The video was featured on a large, multi-media interactive display comprised of a flat screen TV, nine foot vertical banners with information on Five Acres foster care and adoption programs, along with a portable iPad featuring a link to the agency website and contact form.

This year’s event ended with a call to action from Jillian Lauren to help get the word out about the need to not just advocate, but donate to agencies like Five Acres and if you have a lifetime to give, to consider adoption.

The event was sponsored by Morgan Stanley Investments.

Five Acres will feature hopeful and inspiring stories of adoption for the entire month of November in honor of Adoption Awareness Month. Follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Five Acres

Five Acres is a child welfare agency ensuring every child has a safe, healthy and permanent family solution through advocacy, prevention and evidenced-based services. Established as an orphanage in 1888, today Five Acres offers an array of services including community – based mental health and deaf services, wrap around, therapeutic behavioral services, residential care, foster care, adoption and a nonpublic therapeutic school. In 2015 Five Acres served over 8,500 children and their families across five counties. Visit us at www.5acres.org.