by Wes Smith
Reviewed September 23, 2001.
This is a nice book. It tells the story of a unique community
set up to care for unwanted children. It has been set up in former
military family housing at the closed Chanute AFB in Illinois. Families
are given subsidized housing plus an allowance to take in needy foster kids
and adopt them. What makes the community special is that senior citizens
are also recruited to come and live in the community and give support to
The book gives many stories of children, families and foster “grandparents”
whose lives have been changed at Hope Meadows. I especially liked
the stories of the older men whose very health improved when they were given
a new purpose in life, and made to feel valuable and important to these needy
Some of the stories are sad. It’s terrible what some kids go through
before they reach the foster childcare system, or even within the system.
Some of the attempts to care for kids did not work out. But most of
the stories are beautiful tellings of how people came together to change
children’s lives for the better. The idea of giving older adults a
mission of helping the young families while giving the young families extra
support is a beautiful one. I hope that the ideas of Hope Meadows will
lead to similar projects throughout the country. It’s always nice to
read about something good happening.
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.
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