BROWNSBURG — There is anguish in Terry Blackburn’s voice as he shares stories of the foster children who have been welcomed into his family’s home over the years.
Two had chemical burns on their feet from walking around in a house soaked in dog urine and feces. Then there were the siblings — ages 1 and 3 — who had been living on their own in an abandoned house before they were discovered.
Blackburn, a U.S. Navy veteran who now works for the Department of Homeland Security, shared dozens of such stories to a group of community members during the inaugural Breakfast for a Cause meeting Wednesday morning at the Crown Room in Brownsburg.
Blackburn’s goal was to drum up support for Jordan’s Place, a non-profit agency that he and his wife have run since 2005. Jordan’s Place is a foster family resource and donation center serving Indianapolis and its surrounding areas.
“My grandfather was a judge, magistrate, sheriff, and a farmer,” Blackburn said. “I had 15 aunts and uncles growing up. When he died, I suddenly got an education. I learned that five of the 15 were children my grandfather had brought home as a magistrate. My grandmother used to joke that for dinner, she didn’t know if she was going to have a lunch pail or a child.”
Blackburn said that has caused him to pay the act forward with Jordan’s Place.
“We’re the bridge between the Department of Child Services (DCS) and foster families or caregivers,” he explained. “Sometimes we have kids that stay the weekend, sometimes four years. What we’d like to do is grow to have Jordan’s Place in four legal areas in the state of Indiana so it’s the same distance if you’re driving a child from Fort Wayne or Evansville, you can have rescue care.”