Woman’s Passion for Helping Children Proves That One Person Can Make a Difference


The world can be a frightening place in which to raise children these days.

We’re surrounded by scary headlines in the news and stories on social media, and it sometimes leads us to wonder what has happened to human decency.

But one woman is making national headlines for being not only a truly good person, but a saving grace to children in need.

75-year-old Linda Herring was recently honored by the Board of Supervisors and Department of Human Services in Johnson County, Iowa for 50 years of service in the community.

It wasn’t because of her job as a custodian or volunteer work in shelters, although many have sung her praises for other life achievements.

No, Linda was being honored for being a loving foster mother for more than 50 years – taking in any and all in need, no matter the circumstances.

More than 600 children in all.

When Herring was a young woman, a close friend began fostering teenage girls in crisis, and Herring was inspired to help out – but not just with teens.

She contacted her local Department of Human Services to see what steps she would need to take in order to become a foster parent.

She first wanted to help younger children in their most vulnerable formative years due to her experience in running a home daycare, but her heart could not turn away any child, no matter the age or situation.

She is especially passionate about children with special needs – those that may have less of a chance to be adopted.

Herring became known for her affinity for children in need and would often drop everything to pick up a child in need of help – even if just to provide a shoulder to lean on at the time.

In addition to her five biological children, Herring officially adopted three of the children she fostered.  

Of the others, she says she loved each of those 600 children like they were her own – her heart breaking any time they would have to move on from her care, even if they had only been with her a short time.

Many have questioned how she could stand such heartbreak.  It takes a very special person to care for a child and then let them go.

But Herring knew that she had too much love to give not to share it with those who needed it most.

Near the end of last year, Herring knew that it was time to step down from her role as a foster mother, but her love of children and concern for their welfare continues.

Almost 20,000 children now in foster care will age out of the system before being adopted – kids who will enter adulthood without ever knowing the unconditional love, support, and stability of having a permanent family.

They are at an increased risk for homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, and drug and alcohol abuse.

But for the children who spent time with Herring, they had all the love they could want in her care.

Johnson County honored her with a special Resolution of Achievement.  

For those who remember her loving support, and for the eight now-grown children lucky enough to have her as their mother, she deserves all that and more. 

Nearly half a million children are currently in foster care in the United States, many waiting year after year for someone like Herring to come along.

Her compassion and determination to serve others is something we can all admire and emulate.

At a time in our society when life is so often considered disposable, Linda Herring has proven that each child is worthy of love and a chance at a quality life.

For more on foster parenting in the U.S., take a look on Mommy Underground!