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Agape Ranch gala helps fund neighborhood for foster parents and children

The Ranch will help keep foster siblings together and provide a place for those too old for the foster system to call home.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Agape Ranch is expected to build up to 24 homes in the London area.

The first house is already built with two others on the way soon. The gala is held to raise money for the rest of the neighborhood.

Shannon Murphy with Agape Ranch hopes the ranch neighborhood will help keep foster siblings together and provide a place for those too old for the foster system to call home. 

Murphy told 3NEWS, "The idea is to have foster families and foster children live together so they have a support system." She adds, "For the youth aging out, just knowing that there are people out there that care about them and supporting them that want them to succeed in life as adults is a really big mission for us."

Murphy explained that more than 60% of foster children in the Coastal Bend are placed somewhere else. About 90% of foster kids that age out are incarcerated, trafficked, or die within three years. Agape Ranch hopes the new neighborhood will change that. 

Agape Ranch Board Member, Bailey Wilson stated, "Children are leaving our community because there just aren't enough homes for them. So, to be able to have a ranch that's specifically dedicated to just these foster families full of children who are receiving the love and the care that they need, that's what Agape Ranch stands for." 

Danny Bowden was invited to the Saturday night's gala to bid in a silent auction and learn about what can be done to support local foster kids in the community. 

"I look to my right and I look to my left, there are hundreds of people lined up on my right, on my left. I just, it's great to see that there's hope, there's people that are willing to give their time to be a part of these children's lives." Bowden said.

One corporate sponsor also donated as much as $25,000 for the cause. With 470 tickets sold. Agape Ranch said they hope to raise at least as much as last year's gala, which made $360,000. 

Bowden told 3NEWS, "The sky's the limit. There's many more children out there that need to be, that need help, that need tending to, that need support." He said, "We're here to support those kids and why can't we get to 200, 300 and even beyond. That's the idea is to help everybody." 

Agape Ranch said the first family are expected to move into the ranch neighborhood by the end of the year.

If you'd like to get involved in helping local foster children, please click here.

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