PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — "Until every child has a home" is the meaning behind the work done by a local foster care agency called 4 Kids.
That effort is only possible with the help of the community and there’s a special, inspiring individual on the Treasure Coast who may be young in age but mighty in her mission.
Her name is Hailey West and at just 12 years old, she is leading in the fundraising for an upcoming charity golf tournament to benefit that agency, Golfing 4 Kids.
Hailey's two passions are really colliding since Hailey has been playing the game since she was just 4 years old and she and her single mom, Kandice West, have been a foster family since 2015.
"We decided as a team that we were just going to love on those kids and be a foster parent and a foster sister," said Kandice West.
In the last five years, they have provided care and love for 16 foster children who have come through their home.
"She’s an awesome role model. She always takes the kids in and loves on them and teaches them and helps with homework and helps with chores and really shows them what it’s like to have a loving sister," said Kandice, speaking of her daughter Hailey’s interactions with the children in their care.
You can find Hailey practicing her swing at least once a week at the St. Lucie Trail Golf Club. She’s now fine-tuning her skills with even more heart as she prepares for the charity tournament.
"She already had a lot of great skills. Now we’re just sharpening them," said Steven Barney, Hailey’s coach.
Among all of the golfers who are playing and fundraising from Broward County, Palm Beach County, and the Treasure Coast, Hailey has raised the most money for 4 Kids, more than $2,600.
"I’m happy to help and raise money for a great cause," said Hailey, adding that she has seen how much the agency does to support foster children and the families who support them, like she and her mom.
Hailey will be the youngest player in the tournament. She say while playing, she will think of the foster siblings she has spent time with and those still longing for a loving home. She will use her skills, talent, and passion for foster care to help at a time when it’s really needed most.
"The problem is, during COVID, it wasn’t necessarily safer at home for all kids in the community and so now we’re seeing more kids coming into foster care, which means we need more loving homes like Kandice and Hailey to be able to take in these children and love them so fundraisers like this are huge for us," said Andrew Webb, the partner engagement officer for 4 Kids.
The Golfing 4 Kids tournament is taking place on Monday, Sept. 28 at the Sandride Golf Club in Vero Beach.
You can still sign up to play or donate at any time by clicking here.