SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The number of Greene County children in the state of Missouri's custody has increased for the last three years.
According to data from the Missouri Department of Social Services, there were 654 Greene County children in Children's Division Custody this September. In September of 2018, there were 594, and in September of 2017 there were 584.
When Tanner and Angela Grant became foster parents two years ago, their goal was to unify families, but they've been caring for the same children ever since.
"All you can do is just give them the most care and love you can while you have them," Tanner said.
"We love both the kids just the same as our own," Angela said.
Of the 654 Greene County children in the state's custody, 275 of them were in foster homes like the Grant's.
"It's so easy to sweep it under the rug and say, someone else is going to take care of them," Angela said.
The Grant's wish more people would open up their hearts, and homes, to kids in need.
"They have those misconceptions in the back of their head that are guiding them away from doing it, like, 'I don't want to be seen as taking on kids for the money,'" Tanner said.
However, he says, the state's funding for foster children really only covers the basics. That's where resources like Sammy's Window come in, to fill the gap.
The Springfield supply bank is ran through Foster Adopt Connect, and is named after Mark Hay's father, who was a foster child. Children in foster or adoptive homes can get clothes, hygiene items and food every month.
"When people become foster parents, what we do here becomes very important to be able to get the resources that they need," Hay said.
According to Hay, the supply bank is on track to help 4,000 kids this year, but needs donations to do so. Hay said the bank saw 418 children just in October, more than twice than normal.
"October just kind of becomes a time where we restock and get ready for a crazy holiday season. This year, we didn't get that time of rest. We got a busy month, about twice of what October usually is," Hay said.
The bank's supply is low for boys' clothes, detangler and body wash, but its needs change daily.
Hay said many foster parents often only stay in the system for about one year because of the stress and financial strain. That's why his supply bank tries to make life easier for parents like the Grant's, who are committed to unifying families and loving other people's babies like their own.
"It should be all of us working together to take care of these children," Angela said.
Hay said, even though the bank is short on some items now, it needs donations year-round to help kids.
To stay up-to-date on the items Sammy's Window needs and how to donate, click HERE.
For information about the other services Foster Adopt Connect offers, click HERE.