Volunteer with Foster Parent Exchange recognized
Date posted: December 20, 2013
SHERIDAN — A Notable Neighbor is someone who is engaged in the community that typically does not otherwise receive public recognition.
Today The Sheridan Press would like to introduce you to Carla Rose Trier.
Where are you from? If you’re not a Sheridan native, how long have you lived here and what brought you here?
I was born in Minneapolis, Minn. But spent most of my life around Los Angeles, Calif. In February I will have lived in Sheridan five years. One day when I was here visiting, my 11-year-old niece asked me why I had to go home. I told her I had to go back to work. She asked “can’t you work here?” and less than a year later I moved to Sheridan.
What do you do professionally?
I am a substitute teacher for differently-abled adults through the Easter Seals. Here I work on projects that help benefit their independence.
I am also a substitute for special needs children in School District 2 where I work alongside their teachers to help the students have the best experience possible.
Tell us about all the organizations you are involved in on a volunteer level or donate to and the length/level of your service.
I am involved with Court Appointed Special Advocates and have served seven foster children for two years in this capacity.
Recently I became the co-coordinator of the greeting ministry at The Rock of the Big Horns church.
This year was the first year for the Sheridan Foster Parent Exchange, which provided gifts as well as emergency kits for foster children who may go into placement during the holidays.
Tells us more about the Sheridan Foster Parent Exchange.
The SFPE started out of a love and desire to help the foster parent and foster children of our community that I had met during my time as a visitation supervisor at Child Advocacy of the Big Horns. Foster care can be an overwhelming experience for all involved, especially the children, as sometimes the children have six or more appointments a week. It started in January with my foster daughter and me sorting clothing for hours on the living room rug, then we moved to the kitchen and now we’ve evolved to a 768-square-foot building that we’ve outgrown.
We provide an on-line support group with tips and information and provide supplies for foster parents who are just getting their children, parents in the adoption process, parents who have been reunified with their children and others.
Department of Family Services provides a stipend for foster care, however, the payments usually begin 1.5 months after the care begins. Usually within a few hour window we are able to provide clothing, blankets, school supplies, toys, hygiene kits and more. All of our unusable items go to the Tongue River Quilting group where they make quilts for people undergoing chemotherapy.
We will be an official 501(c)3 nonprofit in just a few weeks and had our first board meeting last week.
What advice would you give to someone looking to be more involved with the community?
If you want to get more involved in the community and have the community be more involved with you, a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone may be required. Once you let go of the notion that you are offering something to an organization it can change you but letting go of the reigns and expectations is key.
How does it feel to be thought of as a “notable neighbor?”
What an amazing honor to be able to share about this fabulous community of foster families and children we are blessed to serve and to thank my neighbors for their generosity.