Stories from her friends who have grown up in Foster care sparked a rising Highland School of Technology sophomore to create a volleyball tournament to raise money for Least of These Carolinas
“I’ve heard their stories and it’s just touched a place in my heart,” said Abby Fallin. “I just wanted to give back.”
On the last Saturday in July, Fallin and her “volleyball family” held the tournament at City Church off South New Hope Road in Gastonia. Sixty-four high school boys and girls made up 32 teams, and ended up raising more than $1,600 for the organization.
But it wasn’t just money raised, but also awareness of the struggles a Foster child might face, Fallin said.
“Having the community out there opened their eyes to the Foster care community,” Fallin said, “and how fortunate we are and how others are not so fortunate.”
Fallin lives southeast of Gastonia off of Lowell-Bethesda Road. Two families in her neighborhood have had foster children. In one family, the parents adopted their two foster children. In the other, the Foster parents are moving towards adoption.
She knows the background of the children involved, and how different things have become with a nurturing family involved.
“I see how happy they are with their families,” she said. “It’s disheartening to know I have it so good and not everyone does.”
Fallin plays on the Highland School of Technology volleyball team, and also the Gaston Galaxy traveling volleyball team. Combining her favorite sport and helping others just made sense to her.
“Volleyball is the sport that I love. It inspires me a lot so I figured it would be great to get people outside playing a sport and raising money for the Foster care program,” she said.
Least of These Carolinas began in Gaston County in 2013, and now operates as an Advocate for Foster children in more than half of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
She hopes the money raised will go towards making the lives of Foster children and their families easier, whether that be in the form of buying clothes or needed supplies. She also appreciates her friends for getting behind her efforts.
“I knew my volleyball family would come out and support me,” she said.
You can reach Kevin Ellis at 704-201-7016 or email him at [email protected]