For nearly 30 years, Dave Thomas, the late founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain, has been the face of adoption since he was adopted at the age of 6 weeks, according to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Locally, Hillsboro pharmacist Dane Allard is trying to raise both awareness and money for the cause of adoption and to make Christmas a little more merry for the more than 150 Highland County children currently in foster care.
To promote adoption in the month of November, Allard said an organization he founded, KOPA, is sponsoring “No Shave November,” where for every 20 people who join KOPA and go shaveless, they will donate $1,000 to Highland County Children Services.
“When we get 20 people to participate, we’re going to donate $1,000,” Allard said. “Then if we get another 20 people, we’ll use that $1,000 to buy Christmas presents for the kids.”
KOPA means “together” in Latvian, which he said fits perfectly with the organization’s slogan “we are all better together.”
Additionally, Allard said, if they get 60 people to take part in the no-shave November promotion, $3,000 would be donated to Children Services; 80 people would up the donation to $4,000, and so on.
Recognizing the strain that Children Services agencies are facing in terms of budgets and staffing, Allard’s organization is planning on donating the proceeds from sales of the KOPA bracelets to the local Job and Family Services office in Hillsboro for the benefit of foster children.
“A percentage of the proceeds are usually donated to the Dave Thomas foundation and to Jockey Being Family,” he said. “But this month it’s about how we can help locally.”
The KOPA band, available in different colors, is a two-piece shareable bracelet that is a symbol of friendship and family, Allard said, and it represents the hope of becoming part of a loving family.
People can support the cause of adoption by purchasing a bracelet online for $13 and at Downtown Drug, Holtfield Station, Sweetwater Bay Boutique, Sheer Savage and Details Salons, and Uncle Buck’s and Sonner’s barber shops in Hillsboro. They’re available for $10, with $5 going to Children Services.
The 31-year-old Downtown Drug pharmacist said that adoption hits home for him due to the fact his grandparents were childless and unable to have their own family, and later adopted both his father and his aunt.
“If my grandparents hadn’t been so giving, and hadn’t adopted them, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said. “My grandmother passed away about three years ago and that’s when we started KOPA.”
A Jockey Being Family news release stated that the month of November is National Adoption Month and Nov. 26 is National Adoption Day. Its founder, Debra Waller, was adopted as an infant like Thomas.
About 670,000 kids spend time in foster care every year in this country, and one child enters foster care every two minutes, the news release concluded.
For more information and to purchase KOPA bracelets and apparel, go online to www.mykopa.com, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook at mykopa and on Instagram at my_kopa.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.