The Great Decorate

About The Great Decorate 2021

The Great Decorate, a holiday tree decorating contest to raise awareness and funds for local foster teens aging-out of the foster care system. The foster teen recipients will be selected through a partnership with the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (M.A.R.E.). Each year in the United States, more than 250,000 children are placed in foster care and over 26,500 age-out, including 1,700 in Michigan alone.

From November 18th through December 31th, visitors can view magnificent, beautifully decorated trees in restaurants and retail locations throughout downtown Birmingham and vote for their favorite tree by donating online. 100% of donations will go directly to local foster teens to use toward their future when they turn 18.


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The Staggering Statistics for Children Aging Out of Foster Care

  • In 2015, more than 20,000 young people were not reunited with their families or placed in permanent homes.
  • Despite the promises of the national foster care system, as of 2012, more than 58,000 children in the U.S. foster care system were placed in institutions or residential facilities.
  • 1 out of every 2 kids who age out of the system will develop a substance dependence.
  • Adopted children make-up roughly 2% of the total child population under the age of 18.
  • 55% of these children who wind up being legally emancipated by the foster care system have had 3 or more placements over their childhood.
  • There is a direct correlation to the age of a child who enters foster care and their likelihood of being successfully discharged to a permanent home instead of being legally emancipated.
  • More than 40% of the children who reach the age of 18 while in foster care were in the system for more than 3 years.

Source: Brandon Gaille
On – 25 May, 2017 By Race Media


  • More than 23,000 children age out of the US foster care system every year.
  • After reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless.
  • There is less than a 3% chance for children who have aged out of foster care to earn a college degree at any point in their life.
  • 7 out of 10 girls who age out of the foster care system will become pregnant before the age of 21.
  • Tens of thousands of children in the foster care system were taken away from their parents after extreme abuse.