Forgotten Angels is a nonprofit that provides resources and support to support children that have aged out of foster care and are struggling to achieve housing, education and life skills. Many children that lived in foster care until the age of 18 find themselves with no home, no transportation and little hope for the future. That’s where Forgotten Angels steps in. The organization purchased 12 acres of land in Valrico several years ago, and it currently houses 17 residents in tiny homes built on the property.
“We are proud to say that we are opening new facilities in the near future in Atlanta, Georgia; St. Augustine, Florida; another facility in Valrico,” said David Tyler, executive director. “The hard work that goes into the young men that come to us is paying off in spades. Every single resident of Forgotten Angels is either working full time at great companies like Hoppen Home Entertainment, Smart Surfaces and, very soon, Tampa Bay Fisheries, or attending Hillsborough Community College or taking online college courses. We are also proud to have a graduating JRTC member at Newsome High School making us very proud.”
Forgotten Angels takes these children in and teaches them life skills, including the opportunity to build their own tiny home, open a bank account, build credit, get a job and transportation as well as love, care and guidance from being part of a family. All 17 residents have their own vehicles and sources of income, with some even putting money aside for retirement.
“As a foundation, we are blessed to have one of the best communities in the world as supporters,” said Tyler. “That would be the motorcycle community. Through our motorcycle rallies, motorcycle camp outs, sponsored rides and sponsors like Harley Davidson, we have been able to grow faster than we ever anticipated.”
In order to continue funding and growing, Forgotten Angels is raffling off a brand-new 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor with the full off-road package. This incredible truck will be won on Saturday, March 19. There will also be a second-place raffle winner of a Low Rider S Harley Davidson motorcycle. Raffle tickets are $25 for one ticket, and $100 for five tickets. All the money donated to this raffle goes to benefit the Forgotten Angels children, build more tiny homes and expand the circle of compassion.
To purchase a raffle ticket, visit https://rafflecreator.com/pages/47938/ford-ranger-raffle-fundraiser. To find out how you can help, email email@example.com, call 728-0461 or visit www.forgottenangelsflorida.org.
By Lloyd Sowers
Forgotten Angels' in Valrico helps those who age out of foster care
VALRICO, Fla. - Young people who age out of foster care at 18 years old can face a crisis. Caught between childhood and adulthood with limited experience and guidance, they often become homeless or get in trouble with the law.
Now, there’s a place in Valrico created especially to help those young people called Forgotten Angels. The founder, Cindy Tilley, grew up in foster care.
"I’ve been there, I’ve lived this, I know what it feels like to feel like you’re out there and no one’s there to help you.," said Tilley.
We’re standing at the center of her 12-acre property dotted with tiny houses. Seventeen young men live in the houses. Tilley and her executive director, David Tyler, help them finish high school, get into college, and get jobs. Jason Cook, 22, was in foster care until it abruptly ended on his 18th birthday.
"They just throw you out into the real world," said Cook. "They just say you’re an adult now."
Cook said after leaving his foster home he lived in his car with his dog until he found Forgotten Angels. They gave him a tiny house, helped him get into college, helped him start his own auto and motorcycle detailing business, and made him part of a family.
"Ever since that they’ve been great people. They actually care and love me," he said.
Tyler is like the dad who allows his kids to stay as long as they need.
"It’s on a case by case basis," said Tyler. "Whatever their needs are, we provide whatever we can do to move them forward, we do."
They’ve moved forward thanks, in part, to people on two wheels, motorcycles.
"Whether you’re a bad boy on a Harley or whether you’re wearing a pocket protector and riding a Honda, and trust me I like both," said Josh, who has a popular channel on YouTube called "Shadetree Surgeon."
Earlier this month, he helped draw motorcyclists from all over the country for a camp out here that ended with more than $400,000 in donations. There are plans to expand.
"I bought a property right around the corner from them and quite a bit of land and allowed them to put some boys over there," said Ash Rader, a neighbor and donor who said he was captivated by Tilley’s story and how she’s turned it around to help others.
Rader is rehabbing a home on the adjoining property that could more than double the number of former foster kids they can help.
"This their home. We become their family," said Tilley, who promises to help many more forgotten angels.
They’re planning another campout in October. For more information, visit www.forgottenangelsflorida.org
By News 9
Written By: JASON LANNING
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A Bay area nonprofit is participating in the Strawberry Festival to shine a light on its important work.
If you head out to the Strawberry Festival this year, you are going to spot a booth that says Forgotten Angels.
But the work the group is doing makes sure no foster kids are forgotten.
The group lends a helping hand to young adults fresh out of the foster care system, reaching out before it’s too late.
At the Forgotten Angels farm outside Lithia, dreams are big for 23-year-old Jermeal Williams.
He is a former foster child that aged out of the system and then faced the harsh reality of just how hard it can be living on your own.
“I had my apartment at 18,” Williams said. “But I had lost my apartment for being irresponsible and stuff like that.”
Williams, like so many other young adults aging out of the foster care system, wasn’t equipped to handle the outside world so young.
That’s when he says a friend introduced him to the farm and the opportunity it could offer him.
“I’d probably still be homeless or trying to find another way to get money if it wasn’t for them,” he said.
For the past three years, Williams has lived at the farm. He’s been working there in exchange for a place to stay. He stays in a tiny home and has use of a vehicle, job training and most of all, mentoring.
David Tyler runs Forgotten Angels and said what the group and farm offers is a financial and life skills foundation for young adults that wouldn’t have it otherwise.
“Being a biological parent shouldn’t be the standard for helping somebody,” Tyler said. “The standard is that they are human beings and they are of value and they deserve support.”
Williams remains appreciative of the support he has received and said someday he’ll be happy to pay forward.
At Forgotten Angels, it’s not about changing the entire world, Tyler said.
The group just wants to young adults that will eventually grow into the world and do the same.