What she first thought was a scam, turnout to be quite an honor for Jody Dishman and her husband, Kelly.
U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler recommended the Dishmans for the 2017 Angels in Adoption award, sponsored by the Congressional Coalition On Adoption Institute.
Dishman said she knew nothing about it, so when she received a call from Hartzler's officer, she thought it was a scam. She was assured it was not a scam and after talking to the person on the phone, she realized it was for real. Dishman said she hadn't heard of the CCAI and that is why she was hesitant. "I am on the Foster Care Advisory Board for the Northeast Region and involved very much with foster care, but hadn't heard of CCAI," she said.
She was told she would be receiving letter with details. Last week she received a letter from CCAA and the agenda for September. Dishman and her mother will travel to Washington, D.C. and take part in the Angels in Adoption Program from September 25 to 27. Her husband is staying at home with their children. If they need to leave town and can't take the children with them, one of them stays home.
According to the information Dishman received from CCAI, she will be one of many honorees from across the nation representing their home state. The letter states "Members of Congress are given the opportunity to celebrate individuals, families or organizations from their home state who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent, loving homes."
Dishman's involvement with foster children, prompted her to begin Angel Wings Clothing Closet. "It began as a hobby in my laundry room," she said. After that they moved to the basement of a church, then to a store building on the square. Now they are in the process of moving to the former Casey's General Store Building on the corner of Western and Hendricks. "We are beginning our sixth year," said Dishman.
That hobby which began in her home, has grown immensely. When she began Angel Wings, she worked only with Audrain County, now she works with 19 counties and has had foster parents come from other states, as well as Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia.
Dishman said they do not limit how many pieces of clothing a foster child can receive. "Some places put a limit on the free items, (some as few as three). We do not do that," she said. "We also keep the best of the best." What they don't use they sell to a clothing buyer and with the money buy new underwear for the foster children.