Todd's Move Forward
Organized by: Randy Turner
I first met Todd Spivey in 1984 shortly following his placement into the group foster care system at age 9 when he was a camper at a summer camp I directed for the local Kiwanis Club. Todd was a bright energetic child who wanted a family, and a place to belong. A local family took him in as a foster child, and followed the path toward adoption. Just days before the adoption was finalized, however, Todd's adoptive mother was tragically killed in an auto accident. Six months later, the grieving adoptive father returned Todd to the group home.
I reconnected with him two years later after learning what happened. By then he was a 15 year old hardened by feelings of loss and abandonment, while also experiencing normal adolescent growing pains without a support system to guide him. By the time he was 16, he was moved out of state into a program, and I was not given an opportunity to stay connected with him. I never forgot him, and always wondered what became of him.
With the advent of the internet and search engines in the late 1990s, i occasionally searched for him, but found nothing. Later, I tried unsuccessfully locating him through Facebook. Finally, in summer of 2015, I found his Facebook profile and sent a friend request. We reconnected, and he filled in the blanks of the past 25 years.
Arrested as a juvenile and sentenced as an adult, his arrest record has followed him throughout adulthood. He quickly acknowledges bad choices, takes responsibility for his actions, and recognizes a pattern of failure that takes him back to being isolated and alone. As hard as he works, however, he has been unable to manage a system that seems stacked against him. Due to a traffic violation, he has no license, so has limited resources to get to places of work. Between paying child support, monthly rent and basic utilities, and food, his seasonal sub-contractor job leaves him short on financial resources.
I have stepped in as a father figure for Todd, attempting to provide guidance, support and direction to a young man who never had the benefits offered by a family support system. He didn't walk away from people who loved him and cared for him. He fell through the cracks of a system designed to help him. He did not choose to be orphaned twice, yet he is dealing with the consequences of being alone from a very young age. I truly believe that if there were ever anyone who deserves a chance to move beyond a troubled past and go forward as a productive man, it is Todd. I am hoping some friends will join me in getting him past this current financial hurdle so he can see a glimmer of hope for his future.
Funds raised here will provide him needed breathing room to remain in the house he is renting while maintaining basic utilities over the next few months. His monthly expenses include rent, electricity, and water, plus food, gas for his scooter, and supplies for cleaning, laundry, etc. I am paying for his cell phone service while he establishes a more reliable income. Anticipating a time when his driving privileges will be restored, he would like to put aside some money for reliable transportation and its associated costs. A new law in NC will require him to carry insurance on his scooter beginning in July, which will be an additional cost for him.
He is pictured here with a table and benches he custom built for me and my family. He has amazing talent and skill, is a creative sensitive soul, and is deeply grateful for any help he receives. He does not expect handouts, but he is hoping for a chance. I still see in him the 9 year old boy I first met in 1984, full of hope and promise. Thanks for considering the opportunity to help Todd Move Forward.