A volunteer’s heart

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Helping keep kids out of foster care is a heart choice for Henna Basu Petersen and her family. It’s a choice they make voluntarily. It’s a choice that opens their hearts wider than they ever thought.

What keeps their hearts open are the moments they share with the families they walk beside. Holidays, ice cream jaunts and school achievements create spaces for joy. Job and housing searches foster empowerment. Real and meaningful conversations grow trust. Patience and grace bloom love.

Hena, Melanie and her children

“Hosting has been the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Henna when visiting Melanie and her kids recently.

In 2022, Melanie was living on the streets of Tampa with her kids. Overwhelmed, she reached out to Better Together. Henna’s family was among others who volunteered to host. Princess stole their hearts. They cared for her for two months.

After reunification, Henna and her family continue to walk beside Melanie and the kids. They talk weekly and visit often. Melanie asked Henna to be their emergency contact. Princess and her have sickle cell anemia. Henna is Princess’ godmother. “I love that my kids love you,” Melanie told Henna.

Henna is now a Program Support Specialist at Better Together.

Everyday she is learning what her heart can do.

Everyday she is helping keep kids out of foster care.

Learn more about volunteering in the Tampa Bay area by coming to a free luncheon on Saturday, June 29, at Lake Park in Lutz.

To register: Volunteer Luncheon, Tampa Bay

Moment & Story by Kinfay / Better Together

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