Facebook post spawns massive effort to help young adults in Central Florida aged out of foster care

ORLANDO, Fla — Each year, 20,000 kids in the United States age out of foster care.

Misty Miotto is an Orlando mother and foster care advocate who saw a need in the Central Florida area and decided to act on it.

READ: Central Florida child welfare service getting by with donations after main fundraiser canceled

“Seeing them aged out and being so scared, you know, they don’t have the normal support system,” Miotto says.

Miotto says she met a young woman several years ago who’d aged out and needed furniture for her first apartment, so Miotto decided to make a Facebook post asking for help.

The post led to numbers donations and the start of a private Facebook group called “Help for our aged-out teens.”

READ: Nancy Alvarez’s cancer fight seen as call to action for breast cancer prevention

Check out our latest newsletter with a meaningful story about three inspiring youth who successfully transitioned from foster care into adulthood. https://conta.cc/3c6OBux

Posted by Embrace Families on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

“It’s so much bigger than anything I could have done,” Miotto says. “I’m overwhelmed by it every day.”

The group has grown to more than 160 members, and they’ve already helped 25 young men and women who have aged out of foster care.

“I feel like this community has just come together...they’re from all walks of life and they are wrapping around our aged-out foster youth and just loving on them,” Miotto says. “So much has come from it. Not just furniture, but friendships, relationships, mentorships, job opportunities.”

Martavius Sound is one of those young adults who’d benefitted from that help.

READ: Floridians age 16 & 17 will soon be eligible for this COVID-19 vaccine

“That really helped me a lot because it kind of gave me guidance and it made me feel like somebody was there that was going to support me,” Sound says.

“It’s that pay-it-forward feeling,” Miotto says. “I feel like that’s what’s making it go viral. Everybody is just paying it forward, and it’s just beautiful to watch it come to life...The proof is in the pudding. This is an amazing community.”