Help us raise money for You Gotta Believe, the agency that connected us with our wonderful teenager. Before we met the folks at this agency, founded 20 years ago on Coney Island, the thought of adopting a teen had never crossed our mind. We didn’t know that as many as half of kids who “age out” of foster care – the term used to describe a kid who never gets a family – will end up homeless, and that fewer than 5% will graduate from college. They are terrible statistics, but make sense if you think about it: who is prepared to be alone and totally self-reliant as a very young adult? Rachel and I certainly weren’t, and we had the benefit of safe homes, unconditional family support and a consistent secondary education. Through You Gotta Believe, we have gotten to know lots of kids: teens still looking for homes, young people who aged out of the system without ever finding a family and families built though teen adoption. They are tough and funny and loyal and face unbelievable odds in a system entirely unequipped to give them a fair shot at life. It’s not the typical path to a family but we wouldn’t have it any other way. You Gotta Believe is among a minute number of agencies devoted to permanency for older kids in foster care. It needs help now more than ever in the wake of deed funding cuts from the city department that funds foster care. Anything you can pitch is will be deeply appreciated!