There is a recurring joke in the Todd Family that matriarch Teresa will still have babies in both arms when she is old and in a nursing home, said son Charles.
For the past 16 years, Randy and Teresa Todd of Blue Springs have raised other people’s children. After raising two of their own children, Charles and Stephanie, who are now adults, they continued to provide a stable, loving home for other children in need of a family.
“We’ll do this forever,” said Randy and Teresa.
They even adopted three more additions to the family – some with special needs – as well.
And on top of regularly adding new family members, usually three or four at a time, Randy still manages to be a devoted father despite losing his left foot to diabetes a couple years ago. This caused him to lose his position at Federal Express and now relies on disability for income, he said. Nevertheless, he still helps out around the house as best as he can, the family said.
At a time in life where a person could have easily stopped being a foster parent for others, Randy and Teresa have overcome difficulties and were acknowledged for their efforts Tuesday night.
The Todd Family were selected out of 29 family nominees to be named the 2014 Jackson County Family of the Year.
“Honestly, we didn’t expect it,” said Randy. “It is awesome and we’re grateful.”
After introducing each of the 29 nominated families, the nominees were given ballots to vote on who they think is the best family in Jackson County for 2014. The Todd Family received the most votes.
“The Family of the Year recognition is more about being a selected representative of the community than just being a winner,” said Diane Mack, coordinator of the Jackson County Family of the Year recognition dinner. “No family is perfect and these nominees are doing the best they can.”
The Jackson County Family of the Year is in conjunction with Jackson County Family Week, a week-long celebration during which volunteers create opportunities and resources to strengthen families in the community. This year’s week is scheduled from April 20 to 26, and some events include a towel collection drive for the needy and discounts at local retailers or businesses.
The Family of the Year event is also celebrating its 16th anniversary this year. And according to Mack, that makes the longest running family project in the nation.
There are a variety of families nominated, said Mack. All it takes is a person to write a brief essay on a particular family. Some families are just budding while others span generations. Others have endured challenges, such as the Todds, some are multicultural and even single-parent households.
Randy says doctors told him he can receive a state-of-the-art foot prosthetic that would allow him to walk again. “This will allow me to be even more productive for my family.”
For more information about Jackson County Family Week, visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.