Organization aids children in foster care
By Neva Yinger
WAKE FOREST — Seven years ago, Wake Forest resident Pam Taylor and her husband Mac adopted two boys, ages seven and nine, through the U.S. foster care system. Today, Taylor is the founder and executive director of Mercy for America’s Children (MAC), a nonprofit organization intended to provide the help and support the Taylor family didn’t receive.
“We got started through our own adoption journey — through that process, we got a really in-depth look at the system,” said Taylor.
Taylor was a special education teacher for 17 years, but after she learned of the need for foster and adoptive families, she felt that her talents were needed elsewhere.
“I stepped away from that to start this organization because I couldn’t sleep at night knowing how many kids are out there in need of a home,” she said.
Today, MAC is providing support to over 260 families with a wide range of programs. The organization does everything from connecting children with adoptive parents to providing educational and behavioral support services for families to providing music lesson scholarships.
MAC is also energetically involved in raising awareness and advocating for legislation to reform foster care in the U.S.
Taylor’s son Trent, now 16, leads the MAC Kids Division and serves on the board of directors as the children’s representative.
All donations made to MAC go directly to helping children and covering overhead expenses for the organization. To donate or learn more about the organization, see mac-cares.org.
MAC continues one of its most successful fundraising events Aug. 12 with the 5th Annual Cycle-A-Thon. The event has raised $80,000 in the last four years, and this year, Taylor hopes to bring in $30,000.
Fourteen teams of cyclists will gather by the outdoor pool at Granite Falls Swim & Athletic Club and keep a rider on their stationary bike from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All day, a bike will be manned by an adoptive or foster child and an adoptive or foster family.
The event was the brainchild of Becky Langton, who previously taught at Granite Falls and served on the board of MAC.
It’s sure to be hot, but there will be upbeat music, energetic instructors, prizes and activities to keep the kids entertained. Following the day of cycling, there will be an after-party featuring live music by rock band King Monsoon and prize giveaways.
Registration for teams and individuals wishing to join an existing team is still open. To learn more about the event, register, or donate see maccycleathon2017.myevent.com.
Adoption fast facts
• There are more than 700 children in foster care in Wake County
• 20 percent of children who have been in foster care will become homeless at the age of 18
• Children in foster care are four times as likely to commit suicide
• Fewer than 3 percent of the children in foster care will attend college
• Adoption through the foster care system is free