Tag Archives: children

Rustie MacDonald – Foster Child Advocate

Join us this evening, JANUARY 22, 2015 on Blogtalkradio as we welcome FOSTER CHILD ADVOCATE, Rustie MacDonald. Tune and listen to this child/youth advocate. She has a beautiful story and work. 1-323-693-3054
6 p.m. Eastern Time
5 p.m. Central Time
4 p.m. Mountain Time
3 p.m. Pacific Time

“I was born in 1976 in Lexington, Kentucky.  I was relocated to Florida until 1990. Then in 1990 I moved to Vermont and now I live on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. I have always had this overwhelming desire to help others and this began at a very early age. I was witness to the over whelming poverty of the early 1980’s. As a very young girl, I saw the mile long lines of people waiting for food donation given by the Salvation Army. The severe poverty I lived in and witnessed aroused a great compassion for others and set the stage for my empathetic and giving nature.  At age 4, I had already begun to save food to help the local Salvation Army “feed that long line of people who are hungry.”   Even then, I was determined to make sure no one ever felt alone or without.

As I grew up, I began to volunteer for various organizations. In High school, I advocated in the Juvenile Court system as a Peer Advocate for Foster Youth.  I started a children’s reading group as an “America Reads” volunteer at my local public library. I continued to set the stage of leadership as my High School began a new Award “School Spirit.” In honor of my dedication to my school, I was the first to receive this public award.

265092_1649071246282_5457533_nWhile attending Johnson State College, I was a Big Sister in the Big Sister/Brother Program. I continued to advocate for Foster Youth and was invited by the State Of Vermont’s Children Services (DHS) to Speak at a Foster Care Conference in 1996. I spoke about the difficulty of attending college as a foster child. My motivational speech was made in front of Legislators, DHS employees and 100 foster youth. I speech helped to create opportunities for foster children to attend college. This was an empowering moment for me and a pivotal point in my life. That was the moment I  took the first steps on my path as a coach, mentor and life long advocate”.

Rustie MacDonald PROMO 1-22-15

My, How Times Have Changed

I no longer recognize the world in which I live. When I was a child, things were so much different. I understand that things change over time, but things have REALLY changed. I remember when the produce man and the fish man would come around the neighborhood and sell their food. I remember when the neighbors helped raise the children on the block. We looked out for each other. If one neighbor was without, the neighborhood would rally together and help them out. If a person was sick, the neighbors would help them by providing soup and medicines, without grumbling, murmuring or complaining. If a neighbor didn’t have a television or phone, neighbors who had those things would offer them to those who didn’t have them. People spoke to one another when they entered a place. Folk in the same house said good morning and good night. We communicated with each other. We ate meals at the table at the same time. We played games together and really enjoyed life. It’s 2013 and it sounds like I’m telling a story from another world. My how times have changed.
Back then, children were not so quick to be disrespectful to their elders. School teachers were not afraid of the students. Parents were parents to their children, not friends. Back then, parents were not 13, 14, 15, and 16 year old (not in my time). People didn’t “shack up”, and if they did, they didn’t flaunt it. 
Pastors went to their members’ homes to check on them and pray for them. Television was clean. Music was clean. It was an entirely different world. 
I can’t imagine how somebody from the 1920’s would react to seeing just how much this world has changed – cars, mega planes, mega buses, gigantic grocery stores, mega malls and mega churches……I wonder what they would think about today’s world.