Only minutes after local and national media outlets began sharing the story Monday evening of a two-year-old boy dropped off at a Goodwill donation center in Southaven, phone lines and email inboxes at the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services were overflowing with offers to help, foster or adopt the abandoned toddler.
From California to New York, Florida to British Columbia, individuals touched by the plight of the abandoned toddler turned over to local law enforcement are scrambling to find ways to provide physical and financial support. Many callers volunteer to adopt the child. Others want to send money.
"The overwhelming generosity of Americans is tangible in this scenario," said MDCPS Commissioner Andrea Sanders. "While we cannot disclose information related to any child in need of protection, we are grateful and moved by the compassion of people everywhere. I am hopeful that this story will inspire awareness of the need to support all of the children entrusted to our care."
Mississippi State Law prevents MDCPS from commenting on any specific case when a child is placed into state custody, therefore the agency is prohibited from commenting on whether a particular child is involved with the agency.
Sanders said that "while the media reports of this situation are drawing national attention, the ongoing need for individuals to serve as foster families and adoptive families is critical every day of the year for every child placed in MDCPS custody."
"We will always need loving families to care for children, as well as the backing of the greater community to stabilize families and prevent trauma to children before it happens," she said.
MDCPS currently has more than 3,800 children and youth in care.