Tobe Forshtay FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Third Annual Sons and Daughters Festival Raises Funds and Awareness for Orphan Crisis
500 People Attend Outdoor Concert to Support Foundations in Fight to Eradicate Orphan Crisis
WARSAW, INDIANA, September 24, 2021— Roughly 500 people, 15 different nonprofits, eight food trucks, four worship teams, four speakers and one contemporary Christian music artist all gathered on the lawn outside First Christian Church (Warsaw, Indiana) for the third annual Sons and Daughters Festival to raise awareness and provide resources to eradicate the orphan crisis.
The theme for the festival was “One Church, One Adoption.” Raise the Dough, the foundation that hosts the Sons and Daughters Festival, believes that no child should be without a parent. If each church in the United States rallied around one family in its congregation, the orphan crisis would be eradicated. Raise the Dough produces the yearly festival to bring attention to the critical need for orphan care and to gather local foundations together for a one-stop-shop experience.
People of all ages came together to learn how to get involved in the orphan care crisis: from praying for at-risk families to getting an application for support services, all the bases were covered at the festival. “It’s easy to think that if I’m not adopting, then events about adoption are not for me,” said Genevieve Stoll, an employee of Blue River Digital, responsible for the marketing of the festival and an event sponsor. “But this event teaches everyone that there are multiple roles in orphan care throughout our community, and it doesn’t have to be hard to get plugged in.”
Even the participating organizations were impressed at the variety of resources represented at the festival. Meg Sterchi, executive director at Adoptions of Indiana, said being able to help her clients access more relevant resources in Kosciusko County was a big draw to being one of the foundations present at the festival. “To meet other community resources and consider the option to collaborate,” said Sterchi, is what made her team’s time at the festival memorable. Plus, she said succinctly, “We love the mission.” Lindsay Castro of the Indiana Department of Child Services, a participating organization at the festival, agreed that the mission of the festival was the compelling factor to having a booth at the festival. “We work with abused and neglected children which at times results in the need for adoptive families and supports for them. The mission of this festival is aimed at the population of children we work with every day, and being able to be a part of this community and vision will benefit those children,” Castro said.
Holly Grossman, a volunteer at the festival, understands some of the intricacies of Castro’s work as she is an adoptive mother twice over. Grossman said, “Adoption isn’t easy. Sometimes those who aren’t called to adopt are not sure how they can help with the orphan crisis … having [so many] organizations [representing all facets of support] was helpful.” Her favorite moment was watching her son play checkers against one of the basketball players from Grace College, who was there volunteering. “[My son’s] face was lit up!”
Tobe Forshtay, founder of the festival’s host Raise the Dough, was perhaps just as pleased with the festival himself. Local businesses contributed over $30,000 to help sponsor the event and the ticket donations ran to over $5,000. “We were ready,” he said. “The stages looked great, the bands sounded amazing and the spirit of the crowd was receptive and engaged. We want to continue to mobilize the community to become active in the orphan care crisis. By gathering together these different organizations dedicated to orphan care and support, we can all share resources and success stories together. We believe change can happen. And we’re already excited for next year’s festival.” Next year’s fourth annual Sons and Daughters Festival is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2022.
For more information on Raise the Dough, visit www.raisethedough.org.
Raise the Dough raises funds for adoption because no child should be without a parent.
The Sons and Daughters Festival seeks to raise awareness of the orphan crisis and educate on the critical need for the Church Universal to play an active role in support, foster care and adoption through which the orphan crisis can be eradicated.