White tablecloth dinners have their place, but there’s nothing better than hot dogs in the park on a perfect summer day.

That was the thinking behind a four-hour picnic in Hennepin County, Minn., for more than 400 foster families to celebrate the care they provide and find fellowship with peers.

Organizer Melissa Sherlock said the four hours of food, fun and games was a way to involve the whole family.

“We used to do a dinner that was just for the parents but decided to do a picnic about 15 years ago to involve the kids,” Sherlock told the Sun Current newspaper.  “We have a long list of volunteer services who helped make this event happen.”

A special touch was the donation of thousands of books from Hennepin County Library Systems for the children to take home.

In addition to fun and celebration, the picnic raised awareness of the ongoing need to help families heal.

“Every part of the county is trying to get the kids reunified with their (birth) parents and give them the resources they need to do so,” child services official Margaret Bedor told the Sun Current. “Foster care gives birth families time to focus on getting their kids back.”

Read more about the picnic here.

For more ideas on how to honor foster families, read here.

 

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