Mirror Lake community holds surprise event for foster families

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (KTUU) - Placing siblings in the same home is a top priority for foster programs, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. For many reasons this ideal outcome doesn't always happen -- but when it does it's usually a call for celebration.

Marie and James Caswell, left, and Joyce and Danny Brooks are fostering nine children between the two families. (KTUU)

That was certainly the case at Mirror Lake Middle School Wednesday evening, where a surprise ceremony was held for two families going the extra mile to foster Alaska's youth, no matter the cost.

Marie and James Caswell have four biological children and they're fostering four other siblings. Joyce and Danny Brooks have three biological children and are fostering five other siblings.

Their homes might be a little crowded, but their hearts have plenty of room to love and care for kiddos who need it.

"We figured we can share some of the love and blessings we've gotten in our lives to kids who, through no fault of their own, have been dealt a bad hand," Danny Brooks said.

"Those kids, they deserve it. Every kid deserves the opportunity to succeed and be part of a functioning, structured household," James Caswell said.

Both families were featured as recipients of Planet Fitness' Kindness Dividend. All four parents will get a lifetime gym membership to the Planet Fitness in Eagle River.

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