Arlene | Gregory | Larisa | Reuben | Sam and Megan | Shirley

Sam and his sister grew up with parents who had severe drug addictions. The children were neglected since their birth and were physically and emotionally abused.

One night, their parents left them with Bill, a repeated sex offender in Palm Beach County. Sam was tied up while his sister was raped. Sam was eight years old at the time. He blames himself for not being able to protect his sister.

When Sam learned that his parents’ legal rights had been terminated by the courts and he would never be returning home, he cried.

Thankfully, the children found their way to the JAFCO Jewish Children’s Village. JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options), a beneficiary agency of Federation, annually provides a home for more than 100 children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

“I’ve been in JAFCO about two years. God definitely helped me to get here,” says Sam. “The group home is much like a home. They treat you like a kid is supposed to be treated.”

After two years of intensive therapy, Sam’s sister Megan was healthy enough to prepare for her Bat Mitzvah. In addition to helping Sam and Megan heal, JAFCO will continue to love and guide them through their lives.

“We’re like all family in one house No one gives up on me,” Sam says.

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