This was written by one our our Niner Faithful. She contacted me to educate me on some of the pitfalls and challenges I may face while helping Niner Waldo. Please everyone read this……….What she has to say is very important. She works closely within the legal system and knows what she is talking about. It is her job to know. And please share and spread the word that we SHOULD NOT contact this MINOR directly anymore. It is going to create more problems than a solution. We have done our job and it looks like he will have a Foster Home VERY VERY VERY soon. It is because of all of you that he will have that stability and for that THANK YOU. We all want to help but remember some people don’t have the best intentions. We have to protect him as we would our own children……would you want your 15 child telling strangers on social media where they go to school or where they live??? I surely don’t want my children doing that. I know it makes it hard to help but at the bottom of this post you can find resources on helping. Trust I will make sure 100% of the money raised will go into a trust fund that is somehow regulated once he is 18. And if for some reason he doesn’t attend college or receives a scholarship I will contact each and every donor and ask if they want a refund. Thank you everyone for making a difference. You are all angels.
“In response to something posted on 49ers Redzone’s fb page: The young man we have come to know as Niner Waldo has certainly stirred up some emotion and pride across the United States this week. 49er Faithfuls and Seahawk fans have come together to support this young man who was originally herald as a Hero by Niner fans as he braved the Seahawk Superbowl Parade, but then became a heartwarming story of fan based teamwork as we learned that his situation was much deeper than just being a 49er fan living in the City of their current rival. Niner Waldo shared his personal story of being in the Foster Care system in Washington and explained that he is currently living in a “shelter” which is more accurately described as a Group Home. He shares his home with many other teens in the same situation. These teens live in a community of young people, being taken care of by adults who work for the Group Home, until they can return home, find a stable foster or adoptive home or they age out of the Foster Care system and have to fend for themselves as adults. There are many people who are supportive of Niner Waldo and this situation, as can be seen from the generous donations on the gofundme account that was set up in his name. There are a lot of concerns, however, about the “bigger picture” here. The first thing that people should consider is that while our hearts are in a great place, there are legalities and an issue of safety that need to be considered as he is a ward of the state. He is 15 and it is the responsibility of the State of Washington is to protect him and all children in their care. We do not know all of the details surrounding his particular situation and we never will because his privacy is protected. He may have parents who have a vested interest in having him back home at some point and this instant media fame could affect their lives as well. Additionally, his safety could be compromised when people go meet him, or post the name of the high school he attends. Group homes especially, have to protect ALL of the children that they service, and there is a this risk of him kicked out of the place he is residing, because it’s compromising the safety of more than just one child. People showing up at school or his home or even trying to meet him in the community is a huge safety risk as we are the adults that need to keep that in mind when wanting to deal with Niner Waldo directly. As far as money and donations are concerned, this is gofundme account is also a really fantastic idea! College could potentially be free for him (within the state of Washington) as he is a ward of the state, however this could help him attend an out of state college, buy a car, get an apartment one day, who knows what else. At this time, however, precautions must be taken. Catherine Tate, the lovely woman from Ladies of the Empire 49er Booster Club who started this account, has been contacted and has assured us that she will do what’s right with the money. The fear is that it could become a legal issue with his family, but not knowing enough about the situation mean we just don’t know what negative motivation this could bring up in people. If people want to send him things, they should send them to his social worker more than likely, and not to his residence or anyone he knows. We want him to feel the love and support, but it has to be done in a safe and sane manner for him and anyone involved in his life. The other thing that this whole ordeal could and SHOULD bring about, is awareness. There are thousands of children in California, in Washington and in every State in the Union that need loving, supportive homes. Teenagers often end up in these group home settings because there are simply not enough families that are interested, willing and approved to bring these children into their homes for temporary or long-term stays. There are probably awesome kids like Niner Waldo all over that would love to be part of a family while their parents go through their struggles or until they can venture into the world alone. Teenagers can be a difficult age group to place because of their desire for independence but as adults, it’s our job to love and guide them because they are still children. We can’t ensure that they will have all chosen such a great NFL team to support, but each of these teens could bring something amazing to your life if you reach out and help. So I propose that we DO SOMETHING!! Let’s recognize the huge need for foster homes for these children. Let’s use our masses and become foster and adoptive homes. Let’s seek out existing organizations and volunteer our time and resources. Let’s take it to the streets and get campaigns going in each city to see what NFL fan base can give the most to these children!! I’ll head one up in the Seattle area. Clothing drives, food drives, activities planned with Foster Children in mind, the ideas are endless and possible. Let’s work together to do what we can do to help these kids directly, without putting them in danger and in of course, always do it in the name of 49er Faithfuls!”https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/reslist/rl_dsp.cfm?subjID=29&rate_chno=11-11267 http://adoptuskids.org/join-the-conversation/ways-to-helphttps://www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad/http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/fosterparents/be_fosterintro.asphttp://www.childhelp.org/programs/entry/california-childhelp-foster-family-and-adoption-agency/