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13-year-old Raises $7,000 for Foster Care & Adoption Program


Laib Zemel only wanted one thing more than others for his Bar Mitzvah: he wanted children who don’t have families, to get one.

So to help make his wish come true, the 13-year-old passed on receiving his own gifts and instead set out to raise money for Little City’s Foster Care & Adoption program. He ended up raising more than $7,000, which will be used for parent recruitment — a program Little City often struggles to fund.

“I was adopted when I was born and I know how lucky I am,” Laib said. “Everyone deserves a loving family.”

From the moment he was born, Laib was connected to Little City. He was born into the Little City Foster Care & Adoption program, but unlike many children, he didn’t need to spend a minute in care of the program. His adoptive mother, Ellen, was ready.

Ellen had waited almost four years to find a match. She wanted to adopt siblings but was running into problem after problem. Right as she was about to give up, Little City called her to let her know there was a baby about to be born and they thought he was her match. She felt as if it was divine intervention.

“Little City always returned my phone calls and never discriminated against me as a single parent. Their arms were always wide open,” Ellen said. “People always ask me, why did it take four years to adopt. I tell them that I didn’t realize I was waiting for Laib, and he just wasn’t born yet.”

There are not enough words to describe the generous and selfless spirit of Laib, who has embraced the deep roots of the Jewish faith that Ellen taught him since he was an infant. He has already expressed a desire to become a leader on many fronts and has a deep passion for fighting all injustices.

And to Laib, there is nothing as unjust as a child without a loving family. And because of Laib, more children will be able to find the home they deserve.

"There are so many capable and caring staff at Little City, past and present, who have helped Clifford. He has made a lot of progress in mastering his behavior."

Colleen, Mother of a child living in a ChildBridge Group Home