COLUMBUS, Ohio — Foster children may not get what they've always wanted, but one organization is on a mission to change that.
"One Simple Wish" began in New Jersey in 2008 and now helps current and former foster children across the country each year, like Kay Riley.
What You Need To Know
- "One Simple Wish" grants wishes for current and former foster children across the country
- As a single parent, Kay Riley shares what the organization has done for her little family
- "One Simple Wish" started in New Jersey in 2008
Riley is 21 years old, but more swamped than most her age. She’s juggling school work, classes and a job, but nothing compares to her latest venture: Being a mom.
"As a single mom, it's just hard," said Riley. "Flat out. It's probably the hardest job I've ever had.”
Now she's busier than ever, giving her 4-month-old, Wisdom, the home she herself never had.
"When I was 2 months old, my mother was on drugs, so that consumed her,” said Riley. “So, me, my sister, and my brother went into foster care."
That led Riley and her siblings to being adopted, but that didn’t last long.
"Grew up with my adopted parents until I was 12 years old,” said Riley. “We got placed out of that home, and then me and my sister got into one, and my brother got separated from there. That was extremely hard and a different dynamic I had to deal with."
From the multiple foster homes to raising a daughter years later, Riley's come a long way. But now she has new challenges.
"It's hard, financially, getting little things for my daughter. That can be a strain on the finances,” said Riley.
Then a benefactor stepped in to help Riley through "One Simple Wish:" an organization that grants wishes to current and former foster care children.
In Ohio alone, the organization granted 2,600 wishes in 2022, including Riley's. She asked for a baby bouncer for her little one and a Cricut machine to make crafty DIYs. Both of which came as promised.
And for Riley, it gives her one less thing to worry about and a voice.
" 'One Simple Wish' is an amazing program that helps not just single mothers or mothers in general, but former emancipated foster youth who don't have a voice," said Riley. "A lot of times we are silenced by our own pain, our own experiences, and we can't really express that, but 'One Simple Wish' gives us an opportunity to do so."
If current or former foster children want to submit a wish or if you are interested in donating, go to https://www.onesimplewish.org/.