Pay it Forward

Magnolia Mission’s goal is to provide support to the fostering community

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Becky Bennett

Magnolia Mission is a Macon County-based nonprofit with a goal to provide support, supplies, and encouragement to current and prospective foster, adoptive, and kinship families, as well as biological families. The organization aims to mobilize and equip the local communities in Western North Carolina for foster care and advocate for vulnerable children. 

Since its beginning in June 2022, Magnolia Mission has grown and spread to Jackson, Graham, and Haywood counties, with intentions to have support in all of Western North Carolina. Guided by the Biblical scripture in Galatians 6:2 that reads, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” Magnolia Mission meets immediate needs of foster families when a foster child is placed into a home, as well as supporting families throughout their fostering journey and beyond. 

We partner with DSS (Department of Social Services) to make sure the homes of the foster families currently going through licensing classes are up to state standards in terms of home safety criteria. We also partner with DSS to provide support to families who are at risk for their children being pulled into care. If there is something we can help provide to prevent children being pulled in the first place, it helps alleviate the crisis from the beginning. 

Besides meeting families’ basic needs initially, the organization has helped connect foster, adoptive, kinship, and biological families to the right resources regarding finding items such as furniture, baby equipment, and grocery assistance. Magnolia Mission hosts events every other month for families to give them a chance to relax and be connected to one another. In the months that no events are held, we do something to show support to DSS – take them lunch, provide them with encouragement, sweet treats, movie gift cards, and more.

Nationwide, 50% of foster families quit within the first year due to lack of support, and there are so many children who need the families. The goal is to come alongside any family caring for these vulnerable children, support them, and retain them so they continue to foster, adopt, or be supported enough to keep their children in their own homes. 

In Macon County alone, 75 children are currently in care, with 28 families licensed for care. The surrounding counties have similar numbers that leave children uncertain of where they may end up. If a placement cannot be found in the county in which they reside, children are often moved out of a county, to group homes, or even out of state to kinship placements. 

Monetary donations to Magnolia Mission help the organization meet foster, adoptive, kinship, and biological family needs. Individuals who want to volunteer can become involved in a care team to come alongside families and encourage them. Care teams are especially great for people who cannot foster but want to help in some way with the foster care crisis. Care teams support a family by committing to providing something once a month, whether it be a meal, childcare, transportation, mowing their lawn, etc. To become involved, interested individuals can visit  

Additionally, although the public can donate any time to Magnolia Mission, the local Keller Williams office on Thursday, May 9,  will be assisting Magnolia Mission by collecting needed donation items, such as paper products, laundry and dish soap, books, trash bags, Wal-Mart gift cards, and more at the Keller Williams office at 1573 Highlands Rd., Franklin. 

May is Foster Care Awareness month. Magnolia Mission and other nonprofits in Macon County are focused on bringing awareness to and providing support for foster children and the families who care for them. 

Becky Bennett is executive director at Magnolia Mission.