NBC’s Thanh Truong reports:
The severe shortage of foster parents nationwide leaves nearly 500,000 children without safe homes or caring guardians. But in Decatur, Georgia, one couple has been opening their hearts and their home to foster children for nearly 40 years.
John and Polly Lewis felt that they still had more love to give after raising their own 2 children. Becoming foster parents has enabled them to provide a warm, loving home for well over 80 children, many of whom have gone on to successful lives with families of their own.
WATCH THE JOHN AND POLLY LEWIS AND THEIR FOSTER CHILDREN ON NBC NIGHTLY NEWS:
Their beneficial impact is felt by every child who walks through the door. Tony Garrison, once a frightened 8-year-old who huddled in the corner, was raised with respect and self-confidence by the Lewises to the point where he is now 26, and attending graduate school.
The Lewis never sought any particular reward or recognition for their tireless work parenting children who needed them. Since 1972, they have just wanted to be able to help others as they go through life.
Known once as “Pop & Big Mama”, and now “Grandpop & Grandmama”, John, age 89, and Polly, age 83, continue to build foster families despite their advancing age, saying that keeping busy gives them purpose and helps to keep them young.
WATCH A SEGMENT WITH ONE OF THE LEWISEs’ FOSTER CHILDREN HERE: