Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27

Helping foster children is a difficult ministry area. The involvement of the government, law enforcement, courts, and a variety of ministries and agencies, often with differing interests and goals, makes this foster care world confusing at best.

It can be so difficult and so lacking in support that fully half of families who become licensed to be foster parents take one placement and stop! This is a ministry area in the Tampa Bay region where we feel we can make the greatest kingdom impact, and help the children so loved by Jesus at the same time. Idlewild helps families with more than fifty foster children and the Foundation is boosting that support, increasing the reach of that support, and helping this ministry serve as an outreach to families with spiritual as well as financial and emotional needs.

Join us in this support. Our goal is to raise $127,000 each year for this ministry in Fund 1:27. We can do this with 1,000 donations of $127. This is a lot, but with this money, we can improve the support for the foster families served.

Join us and watch as the families participating in this ministry and the families helping them receive additional support in many forms – including TBRI® therapy, training, welcome home packages, financial aid, scholarships for sports, family annual passes to ZooTampa and the Florida Aquarium, as well as eligibility for scholarships for vocational and undergraduate education.

Family at ZooTampa looking at the manatees

Annual recreation passes

This is one of our families at ZooTampa, enjoying their new annual pass, allowing education and recreation they couldn’t afford before Fund 1:27 was established. We also offer an annual pass to The Florida Aquarium for participating families.
We will be adding more over time. Our goal is for these families to do more than survive – we want them to thrive!

How You Can Help!

If you don’t know how to help, there are many options. Give us a call, we need you!

Prayer

We would love for every family that is willing to meet a foster family and learn their prayer needs, learn who they are and why they have taken on this challenge, and follow that up with individual prayer for that family as well as prayer for:

  • All foster parents, for the tremendous emotional, spiritual and social commitment they make stepping into this ministry.
  • The foster children, because so many have suffered trauma, spiritual, physical, social, mental and emotional.
  • The biological children, because of the change foster children bring into their lives.
  • The foster care system including the case managers, the social workers, the therapists, the teachers, the counselors, the attorneys and the judges who deal with the challenges.

Someone wrote that prayer is not preparation to work – it is the work! And that author was and still is right. We pray also as follows and request that you pray for all of our foster families as follows:

Lord, make our hearts pure and our hands clean.
We pray for God to keep our hearts and motives pure. Matthew 6. If we fail to guard our hearts, we will fail. Proverbs 4:23.
Lord of the harvest …send out workers into your harvest field.
We pray for the co-laborers (Matthew 9:38). This is God’s work. He will get it done, either with or without us; but we dearly want to be in step with Him and His mission. We must pray for the people we need to become part of this ministry or serving “the least of these”, hurt and hurting children.
Direct us by your Holy Spirit.
In all we do, we seek to be Spirit led. Without Him, we can do nothing John 15:5.
God, we seek your provision.
It takes money to do ministry in America. But our prayer is for people to be God’s people and good stewards of the resources He has provided. If they do that, all that we need to do ministry will be provided by and through Him.
Give us wisdom and boldness.
God did not give us a spirit of timidity (2 Tim. 1:7). When God opens the door of opportunity, we pray that we will be wise enough to recognize it and bold enough to step forward.
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Care Communities

Community is absolutely essential to a believer’s life (1 Thes. 5:14) and it is equally important to a foster family. People who try to do it without outside help, especially the help of loving, caring friends, are far more likely to struggle. Our goal is for each foster family to be connected to family, neighbors and friends so closely that when (not if) needs arise, there is someone ready, willing and able to help.

A Care Community is an important help for foster parents. When one child has to go to the doctor, or a sports activity, or a school conference, or court, what about the other children? When one parent is sick, is there someone who can cook a meal? Birthday, Christmas and other cards can lift a spirit. There are as many ways a Care Community can help as there are ways that friends and family uplift each other. If you are interested, call and learn more.

aaron-burden-l
Photo of two people with gentle hands soothing a sad person

Support Group

Check out the Events Calendar for the support group meetings that are calendared. You are not alone! There are many others experiencing some of the same feelings and dealing with the same issues. Our support group is a great way to learn in community.

More Support

Hope for the Orphan and The Idlewild Foundation together provide a wide array of support; ZooTampa passes, Florida Aquarium passes, a Valentine’s celebration, swim lessons, haircuts, back-to-school support, Christmas gift cards, birthday cards, and a lot more.

Family at ZooTampa looking at the manatees

Guardian ad Litem

The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) system is secular, but many believers engage in that system, and rightfully so. Give us a call at The Idlewild Foundation and we will help you decide.

But even if being a GAL isn’t for you, there are ways you can help. We serve the Hillsborough County GAL hospital SWAT program. A GAL responds to the hospital when a child or baby is hospitalized due to abuse or neglect. Those little ones have nothing. Often their parent or parents are in jail for abuse or neglect and are barred from contact – so the children have nothing.

The Idlewild Foundation steps in and provides clothing, blankets, a Boppy pillow, and other supplies for the child so when the child transitions into foster care, the new foster parents have a start on what is needed. Below are some pictures of “kits” provided to babies in the hospital. Many of these items have been provided by the generous seniors of Idlewild Baptist Church as they opened their hearts and pockets to give to this amazing program. You can join us and help. Look below for our WalMart and Amazon links to the shopping lists of the things we need most for these babies.

Family standing around the kitchen

Take a Meal

Many of our foster families have listed meals as their greatest need. Spend a few minutes, cook a meal, deliver it and bless a foster family. This can be arranged through The Idlewild Foundation at 813-264-8796.

Send a Card

If you would be willing to just encourage a foster family, let them know you are praying for them and support them lovingly, you can arrange to send them cards on special days, anniversaries, birthdays or during the holidays. This can be arranged through Hope for the Orphan at 813-264-8796.

All administrative, overhead and operational costs of The Idlewild Foundation are covered by our sponsor donors. 100% of your donations to Fund 1:27 go to serve foster families.

Father and daughter smiling and looking at a card
Girl showing donate box

Contribute to Fund 1:27 at The Idlewild Foundation

How much and for what? We have options for you! Please consider making a monthly pledge and gift! Fund 1:27 isn’t just here for 2021; we want this to be a self-sustaining and self-supporting ministry in a ministry area that has an unending need. Please consider a monthly recurring donation to help us meet this need.

$220 – A typical Florida Aquarium Annual Family Pass
$200 – A ZooTampa Annual Family Pass
$127 – Our goal donation
$100 – Welcome Home gift card for a new foster child
$90 – Soccer, flag football, baseball or softball at Idlewild for a foster child
$50 – A Valentine’s Day meal for foster parents
$50 – A Back to School gift for supplies for a foster child
$25 – A Christmas gift card for a foster child

Make donations to Fund 1:27 of The Idlewild Foundation by clicking the Donate button above, at www.idlewildfoundation.com, or at 18333 Exciting Idlewild Boulevard, Lutz, FL 33556 and indicate your gift purpose. TIF is an established 501(c)(3) charity and all donations to Fund 1:27 go to ministry. TIF salaries, overhead or administrative expenses are few because TIF’s overhead and expenses expenses are independently funded! In fact, most work at TIF is by volunteers since our officers and Board are all volunteers. For those who itemize, these donations are permitted deductions on your tax return.

Another way you can donate is by giving to the ongoing support we offer to the Hillsborough County Guardian ad Litem Hospital SWAT program. We help the Guardian ad Litems by providing gifts including clothing, Boppy pillows, toys, blankets and more to the children and babies who can’t immediately go into foster care because they have been hurt and are hospitalized due to severe neglect or abuse. We have sites on Amazon and WalMart for donations to be made that come directly to our offices – and all that is given goes directly to minister to these precious ones Jesus referred to as “the least of these.” 

Here are our our Walmart.com and Amazon lists for our babies. Shipments come directly to us here at Idlewild.