ST. PETERSBURG, Fla - Kiera Perkins is Miss Teen Tampa. Girls look up to her, want to be her. But, her life wasn't always like this
"I was phyically abused and malnourished and when you are in that kind state you are scared to speak up," Perkins said.
Kiera said that was her life in foster care. She was 5 when she went in, and it wasn't until 5 years laters she and her sister were adopted by the same family. She said they were the lucky ones.
"At the age of 5, you are pretty much aged out of the system. they are not looking for kids at that age," she explained.
Sandy Kearney saw the plight of children first hand as a volunteer for the Sallie House, a safe haven for children, but she wanted to do more. Her vision became reality 3 years ago.
Angels Against Abuse was formed.
What started out as a group of only for women is now eighty people strong. The Angels are the voice for children in the welfare system
"They range from tiny babies to kids that are againg out of the system and all those in between," Kearney said, "Our goal is to make a difference in their lives even if it is one child at a time."
And the mission is growing. Sandy says she only expected 70 people at this Family fashion show fundraiser. Close to 350 showed up.
"People have jumped on the bandwagon for us."
It means so much, Because they are still so new. The only funding is through events like this.
And it was special. It brought together kids from foster care to the children of Angels. Kids helping kids.
And, while Kiera may be an adult at 18, she still sees herself still as kid-a kid who is growing up meant to be an angel.
"I am doing as much as I can with this organization. I think it is amazing thing and it is exactly what I want to do."
Saturday was the first Family Fashion Show fundraiser. It was so successful, the Angels plan on making it an annual event.
If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the non profit organization. You can head to their website at angelsagainstchildabuse.com .
Copyright (c) 2009 HGTV and Scripps Howard News Service
A 4-year-old Pasco County boy is dead. According to family members, doctors suspect he contracted bacterial meningitis, He started showing symptoms Saturday night.