Watch These Amazing Foster Parents Get a Big Surprise
Who doesn’t love inspirational stories? With all of the doom and gloom filling the front pages of our papers these days, it’s great to be rewarded with an alternative tale of hope and love. Neediness and homelessness is a global crisis that affects almost every community. According to Shelter England, an advocacy agency for the homeless in the UK, there are over 70,000 homeless or orphaned children in England alone. One couple decided to make it their life’s mission to help as many of these kids as possible.
Over a span of 32 years, Terry and Anne Panks allowed over 1,000 homeless kids into their home. Just four years later, that number had DOUBLED to 2,000! In 2012, the couple won the Pride of Britain Award for their contributions to young people in their community, but they didn’t just stop there. Anne tells The Mirror: “Winning the award felt like a promotion at work. It really drove us on and we’ll keep on as long as we’re able. Now we’re older and remind residents of their grandparents, I think it’s easier for them to form a relationship with us.”
The couple, who are now in their 80s, allowed their first troubled young people into their home in 1980. At that time, it was exclusively formed for young men who came from the probation service, social services, or care homes. Over the years, the couple expanded its range of residents to house both boys and girls of all ages.
The home itself is a renovated former police station which includes ten bedrooms for the residents. There are also onsite amenities including a gym, a computer lab, a music studio, and a meeting hall—all of the facilities a young person needs to succeed professionally and creatively!
So, why did this courageous and giving couple decide to build such a center? The answer is simple—they both have a passion for helping those in need. Speaking of their motivation, Anne says: “We always felt sympathy for young people who were misunderstood and couldn’t get on.”
The home is located in an area called Wythenshawe, which is in the tough, inner-city of Manchester in England. It has become somewhat of a focal point of the community and a beacon for those who may need a helping hand and some guidance.
In 2012, the British supermarket chain Morrisons helped the current and former residents of the Panks’ home pull off one of the most heartfelt surprise parties ever. Adult and children alike gathered to give their sincere thank-yous to the people who had changed their lives. Of the Panks’ generosity, one former resident who lived at the home from 1984-1989 says: “See, I needed help when I was sixteen. Anne and Terry had unconditional belief and compassion, patience, understanding.”
Watch this extraordinary video below to see what it looks like to have generations of past and present residents get together to honor their foster mom and dad.
Do you know any special foster parents? Are there any exemplary homes for children in your area? How do you help needy children in your community? We’d love to hear your stories! Tell us all about them in the comments below.