APPLETON - You might wonder why there were people in Appleton Thursday holding umbrellas when it wasn't raining.
They were raising awareness for foster parenting.
Diana Gosz had foster care when she was a teen and says her experience was incredibly positive.
"I look at it that they gave me a great place to be, so it's my turn to pay it back," she said. "I'm giving kids a safe place to be."
She and about 50 supporters took part in a rally to encourage others to consider being a foster parent. They are hoping to raise awareness for the need.
"The umbrellas symbolize shelter from the storm, that children in foster care are dealing with some stormy experiences, and we really need more families to help shelter them during those difficult times," Mike Heath of the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families said.
Heath says statewide, there are 6,000 children in foster care, but only 4,000 foster parents.
"There's just not enough foster parents around," Gosz said. "There are so many children, so many ranges of ages, and so many of us can only take certain ages."
Guy Van Dehy says he and his wife have cared for ten children.
"It's just an incredible feeling to see these kids grow when they're with you."
He says he knows foster parents are making a difference.
"Some of the kids have actually come back and told us that, and that's a really rewarding experience," Van Dehy said.
"I think the more foster parents we have out there, the more there is for kids to have a great and safe place to be," Gosz said.
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