On July 26th, Pete and Kaycee Stanley of The Reel Hope Project were presented a check for $10,000. The occasion took place at an Elk River Rotary Meeting. Rotary Club President Robin Skinner and club member Tricia Downey were there to present the oversized check. The amount reflected the proceeds from the 2018 Taste of Elk River, where The Reel Hope Project was the signature recipient.

The Stanleys hosted a booth at the event where they shared information about their passion for helping children and gained some regular contributors. Their hope is to find a permanent home for every child who is available for adoption in Minnesota. “There is a mile-long waiting list for adopting healthy infants,” Kaycee Stanley says. “There are more than 1,000 kids in the state’s foster care system waiting for adoption.”

The pair uses their nonprofit to create videos that feature the personalities of the children who are waiting in the foster care system. The Reel Hope Project recently signed a contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services which aids them in helping make videos for kids in every county in the state.

Pete and Kaycee have always wanted to adopt an older child from foster care. Often, when they would speak to others about it, they would get all sorts of negative comments. They knew they wanted to change the public’s attitude about foster adoption, but they didn’t know how. Kaycee first got the idea in 2016 when she discovered the group America’s Kids Belong. The videos made her really see the kids for who they were rather than just their situation. She saw her own opportunity to make a difference.

Kaycee took the idea and ran with it. Five months later, The Reel Hope Project was on its feet. She gave up her position as youth minister at her church and became the director of their organization. The Stanleys collaborated with their wedding videographer to make videos for the foster kids in their area. Their videos get placed on their website and are viewed at different churches across the state.

“There are 4,000 churches in Minnesota and 1,000 kids in foster care in need of adoption, so if one in every four churches has a family adopt a foster child, we would be there,” Kaycee said. The Stanleys feel that the churches can make all the difference.