Kristy Payne is the founder and executive director of Fostering Sweet Dreams Foundation. She is also a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Central and is someone you should know.
About 14 years ago she and her husband, Randy, started as foster parents and in doing so they realized that although there were organizations which provided clothing there was no place to go for beds, car seats and other needed items.
Watching the news one night Kristy saw a baby who had been left on the side of the road and was taken in by firefighters. It was then the seed was planted in Kristy’s heart to become a foster parent.
She and her husband became foster parents and adopted two foster children. One was 2 1/2 and the other was 1 1/2, bringing their family to six with two birth children of their own. Kristy’s parents had fostered children when she was growing up.
“I have always had a love for babies,” Kristy said. After they adopted their two fosters her husband said the family was large enough so helping others who are fostering just came naturally.
“Foster parents have little warning when a foster child becomes available. Generally, it is right before the child comes to live with them,” Kristy said. “We started out with kinship arrangements because they get no reimbursement when taking a family member to foster. We step in and fill the gap.”
The foundation also helps with foster children being placed once again with their family. They also help teens who are aging out of the foster program as they get settled into a place of their own.
“We are funded primarily by donations and fundraising grants,” Kristy said, “although there isn’t much we turn down. We have many volunteers helping us also. We have applied to be the recipient of North’s BALTO Week this year for the third time. Fingers crossed that third time will be a charm.” Kristy said they are excited and praying hard because they want to be able to build a building in part to store large items like large beds until they are needed.
Kristy and her family attend Life Church on Britton Road and Broadway.
“We like it because the church members are so diversified,” Kristy said.
The family enjoys going to the beach to relax and they’ve traveled as far as California for beach vacations.