Raising just one child can be a tough job for any parent—which is why this woman is being honored for fostering more than 600 children over the course of five decades.
75-year-old Linda Herring from Johnson County, Iowa has been tirelessly providing food, clothing, love, and medical care to hundreds of foster kids since the 1970s.
When Herring first began fostering kids, she was also running a home daycare and working as a night custodian in a local high school. Additionally, she volunteered as a first responder for 50 years of her life, according to CNN.
Out of the hundreds of foster kids that Herring has taken under her wing, many of them experienced a range of medical conditions and special needs—but that never deterred Herring.
“Linda mostly fostered young children and children with special medical needs and kept bins of clothes in her garage, stacked to the ceiling, labeled by size and gender,” read a statement from Johnson County officials. “No one had to worry about a child going without clothes at Linda’s, even if they arrived with nothing but what they were wearing.”
Anthony Herring, who was just 3 years old when he was adopted into the Iowa family, described his mother to CNN: “It’s hard to say in words her impact. She was always available and ready for a child in need.
“These kids were usually taken from a traumatic situation and she’d take them in, provide a warm bed, clean clothes, warm meals, and love,” Anthony told the news outlet. “She also worked hard to keep families together. Keeping siblings together. Helping biological parents make the changes needed to be able to keep their children.
“She always makes sure a new child in her home was given a professional photograph that was placed on the wall in the living room,” he added. “That seems like a small thing, but it helps them feel like they’re at home.”
In light of how Ms. Herring announced her retirement from fostering new children in October due to health concerns, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors honored her with a special ceremony of appreciation this week.
Additionally, five of Herring’s biological children and three of her grandchildren have been carrying on her legacy as foster parents as well.
The Board of Supervisors, Department of Human Services and a standing room only crowd recognized Linda Faye Herring last night for nearly five decades of serving as a foster parent to more than 600 children in #JohnsonCountyIA. pic.twitter.com/wGV4jqEBMj
— Johnson County, Iowa (@JohnsonCountyIA)
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