The Burns family was referred to Canopy’s MYPAC program for help with their child age 7, and support for his younger siblings ages 5 and 4 back in 2017. The family made great progress and was able to successfully complete the program; however, the oldest child now 10 was referred back into the program during the summer. The team worked together with the family for nearly 2 months before the family seemingly disappeared. MYPAC staff tried to locate the family, making frequent visits to their home, attempting to contact friends or relatives and was still unable to find the family, including the three children.
In October, the Burns children were found to be living in the woods at the nearby state park with no parent present. The children were taken into foster care and there has been no contact from their parents. The children began receiving counseling from Canopy’s Behavioral Health Clinic to help them heal and process the trauma they had experienced.
As the holidays approached, Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services worked diligently to find the children a suitable placement within their extended family. In early December, the oldest child was placed into the care of his grandmother, Millie, and was readmitted into MYPAC to help the family make a smooth transition. The children’s social worker also indicated that the younger siblings would also be placed in the grandmother’s home before Christmas.
Because of the generosity of Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation, and a team of Secret Santas, the Burns children were provided with district compatible laptops they will use after reenrollment in school for the spring. The family is also being provided with resources for food and other necessities to help the family have a happy Christmas and beyond.
Neighbor’s Keeper, the foundation of Mississippi native Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, has helped to meet the needs of children and families at the holidays through this partnership for the last 15 years. In total, Neighbor’s Keeper has funded more than $500,000 in gift cards. While much of the funds are used for Christmas, others are saved to help meet the needs of families served all year long. Thank you to Faith, Tim and the Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation for seeing the needs and never letting our children’s be forgotten, at the holidays and all year long.