'It's just like a family': Pa. mom gives second chance to dozens of foster children

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Pa. mom gives second chance to dozens of foster children
We're Philly Proud of a woman who has been called, "mom," by not one, not two, but dozens of foster children.

LOWER GWYNEDD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WPVI) -- "If you feel it in your heart to want to do something for someone, step out on faith and just take in a child," said Valerie Crabbe. "You can start with one just like I did. And now we have fostered over 100."

Since she was young, Crabbe always wanted to adopt children when she grew up. She and her husband, Larry, each had three children of their own already. And still, they felt the need to expand their family. Now, the Being Beautiful Foundation benefits the lives of young children in foster care.

Teen girls can find a home in one of three area houses operated by the foundation. Each house has a resident mom that treats residents like their own children. Crabbe is currently the mother of eight girls under one roof.

One of them is 17-year-old Gabriella Martinez.

"I came into the system when I was like 13 years old and I was in a previous group home, which was, like, horrible, was like, the worst experience," said Martinez. "They can be good but you know, it doesn't feel like they're your parents or your loved at such a young age."

When she first moved in, she thought about running away. But soon, she realized Crabbe's house would not be like the others.

"I made the choice to come here and it's just like a family," she said.

12-year-old Sunny Shitul only moved in two months ago, but has learned enough to agree with Martinez.

"I just feel great here. It's better than any other foster home I've been in," said Sunny. "She says she supports me no matter what."

With no plans to trim her family tree anytime soon, Crabbe hopes her mission will inspire others to meet the needs of children in foster care.

"It's a chance at a better life. But more than anything, we're giving them parents, a mom, a dad," she said. "Something that they really want more than anything in the world is parents and to be loved."

To learn more about Being Beautiful Foundation, visit their website.

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