“My aunts would be extremely thrilled to know I’m involved with Wayfinder,” says Suzi Bertino, member of the Wayfinder Community Council.
Suzi’s family created a legacy of assisting foster children. “I grew up with many aunts and uncles, and many of them had foster kids,” says Suzi. “Over 40 years of fostering, one aunt took in more than 300 babies who were born addicted to drugs at birth. She would pick them up from the hospital and patiently care for them while they went through drug detox. She was honored by the governor for all her years of service, creating a safe home for all the children she cared for.
Another of Suzi’s aunts fostered teenagers and advocated for them. A transitional housing facility in Sacramento is named for that aunt. “A lot of kids stayed with her till they were able to live on their own,” Suzi recalls. “They are part of our family. They’ve all become pretty great adults with great lives.”
An acquaintance who knew about Suzi’s passion for foster children recommended her to Wayfinder. “I was definitely interested in Wayfinder’s work,” she says. “I had seen how foster kids thrived in a home where someone really cared about them.” Suzi joined the board and then the Community Council.
Suzi donates to support Wayfinder’s work. “Whether they are adopted or fostered, Wayfinder is giving children a chance to achieve and grow like any kid,” she says. She also has engaged her employer, American Pacific Mortgage, to sponsor many Wayfinder events.
“Many of my friends had been helped by Wayfinder, and I wasn’t aware of it,” Suzi says. “I posted about Wayfinder on Facebook, and several of my friends saw the post and let me know that Wayfinder helped them with the adoption of their kids and they were fabulous to work with. I love hearing that Wayfinder is doing a great job.”
“Wayfinder makes dreams come true,” says Suzi. “Children get safe homes with loving families, and families’ dreams of adopting come true.”
September 29, 2023