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Judith McSoley Fund for Children
By Jean Cohoon / January 17, 2019 /   Loading Disqus...

“Judy was a fierce and tireless advocate for children in foster care and dedicated herself to their well-being and their futures,” states Darlene Allen, CEO and executive director of Adoption Rhode Island, of the late Judith McSoley.

Judy’s career included positions at Smith Hill Center and Children’s Friend and Service prior to her joining Adoption Rhode Island, which she served for 15 years in positions including director of development and community relations.

Upon her passing in 2016, the McSoley family requested that memorial gifts be made to the organization she so loved and believed in. The agency’s work, Darlene explains, “was her passion,” with Judy’s husband, Matthew, adding, “And she practiced what she preached.” The McSoleys are both parents and grandparents of adopted children.

Darlene and Matthew agree that Judy was especially proud of the Rhode Island Heart Gallery, a traveling exhibit of professional portraits of children in state care. Organizations and businesses throughout the state, including the Rhode Island Foundation, have hosted the awareness-building Heart Gallery. “I remember when Judy had the whole gallery in Pawtuxet Village. She established relationships with people at the banks and other businesses where portraits were displayed,” Matthew says.

“Judy was very good at going out and telling the children’s stories. She became very passionate about working with kids who were aging out of foster care and finding resources for them,” Darlene recalls.

And of a support group for adoptive moms, Darlene says, “Judy poured her heart and soul into that. As an adoptive mom and grandmother, as a professional, and as an extremely kind, compassionate, and beautiful person, she had a lot to offer and the moms loved being part of it.”

“Judy loved her work and was devoted to the kids. We told her we’d do everything we could to continue her legacy of love and caring, and because of the outpouring of love for her through memorial gifts, we’re able to start this endowment that will continue in her name forever,” Darlene explains, with Matthew adding, “and provide opportunities for kids who otherwise might not have them.”

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