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Turlock foster care providers win “Paint It Forward”

Turlock foster care providers win “Paint It Forward”

Lancaster Painting Employee Jeff Wright prepares Paint it Forward winners Bobbie and Roy Baker's house for a free exterior paint job.

POSTED February 21, 2012 11:04 p.m.

For 16 years, Turlockers Bobbie and Roy Baker have paid it forward, fostering more than 70 children in need of a place to stay.
On Saturday, the Bakers will be rewarded for their hard work by "Paint it Forward" - a benefit initiative by Turlock's Lancaster Painting, which will grant the Bakers a free exterior paint job.
"It probably needed a new coat of paint," said Bobbie Baker of her nearly 100 year-old home with a laugh.
Bobbie Baker, who said she'd "Never won anything" didn't think much of her chances. But on Friday the 13th of January, the Bakers learned they had been selected as the recipients of Lancaster Painting's Paint it Forward. The free exterior paint job the Bakers will receive Saturday is valued at $6,000.
The Paint it Forward program started in 2010, when Lancaster Painting owner Steve Talkington wanted to award deserving people in the community for their good deeds. In the past, the program has provided free paint jobs for Westside Ministries and Turlock's Community Continuum College.
The Bakers were nominated by Sharon Salaiz, district director for foster care coordinator Aspiranet Turlock. It's through Aspiranet that the Bakers do their foster care.
"They've been certified foster parents since 1995, and they're fantastic," Salaiz said. "They know how to support foster kids and bio families through the whole process."
The Bakers didn't have that sort of knowledge when they first started fostering 16 years ago, answering a newspaper advertisement after asking a few questions of a neighbor who fostered. Bobbie was a stay-at-home mom, while Roy had siblings who were in foster care before he was born.
"We thought, 'We'll give this a try,'" Bobbie Baker said.
In the years since, the Bakers have fostered a lot of good kids, Bobbie Baker said, many of whom just weren't dealt a good hand. Many of those children - now grown - still stay in contact with the Bakers.
Bobbie Baker said she hopes more families will consider foster care as a result of the Bakers' "Paint it Forward" win, especially those willing or able to care for teenagers and children with medical issues.
"It really is a rewarding thing, and you make a difference in a lot of peoples' lives," Bobbie Baker said.

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