Bruce Noe, DVM and his wife Michelle, a Special Ed teacher at Johnson Elementary School in Mesa, knew they wanted to be foster parents someday. After much thought and preparation, they signed up for the training and began their journey to become licensed to foster. Little did they know that the experience would propel them into starting a non-profit charity of their own, Boost a Foster Family, Inc.
“Bruce and I went into the training with both eyes open, and in the course of taking the required classes, we met families that fell into fostering because an extended family member was being removed from their current home because of neglect or abuse, and needed a safe place to live. These families found themselves overwhelmed with all the state requirements, classes, and paperwork that becoming licensed demands,” Michelle says.
It was then that the Noe’s made another promise to themselves: someday they would do something to help those foster families who were facing so many obstacles. They created a financial plan to save up funds and two years later, the funds had grown enough to launch Boost a Foster Family, Inc.
“Once Michelle sees a need and comes up with the solutions to fill it, there is no stopping her,” says Bruce of his energetic wife. “She surrounded herself with likeminded volunteers who have a passion for helping foster families, and the charity has really taken off,” Bruce continues.
After meeting with folks at the AZ Office of Licensing and Regulations, the Noes discovered that nearly half of the foster homes being inspected for licensure were failing their inspections. One of the top five reasons was dogs in need of rabies vaccinations!
The Noes immediately designed a voucher system to provide free rabies vaccines to these low income, about-to-be-foster families. Now, any agency that licenses potential fosters can apply for a prepaid rabies vaccination voucher on behalf of the family in need, using the Boost a Foster Family website.
“We would love to get more veterinarians around the Valley on our team
of providers,” Michelle explains, “We have had families pile up the dogs and kids and drive from
Glendale to “Noe’s Ark,” Bruce’s practice, in north east Mesa, for a vaccination.”
Boost a Foster Family also provides other helpful and important things such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, CO2 alarms, car seats, and magnetic cabinet locks. BFF can also help families in need pay for CPR and First Aid classes. When asked for one way that readers can help this charity, Michelle was quick to point to the new Foster Care Tax Credit. “This is a game changer for us. When someone redirects their tax dollars to us, we benefit greatly without its costing the donor anything! Up to $500 for an individual and $1000 for those filing jointly, will go a long way in helping the families we serve.”
For more information on how to take the tax credit, or to learn more about this charity, visit www.boostafosterfamily.org.