Rita's Blog

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Rita's Blog

For more than 30 years, Rita Soronen has worked on behalf of abused, neglected and vulnerable children, providing leadership for local, state and national efforts working to improve the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, while striving to assure safe and permanent homes for North America’s children.

Leading the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national nonprofit public charity, since 2001, and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada since 2004, Soronen works to find adoptive families for each of the more than 134,000 waiting children in the United States and Canada’s foster care systems. Under her leadership, the Foundation has significantly increased its grant-making and awareness commitments, while developing strategic signature initiatives that act on the urgency of the issue.

Soronen currently serves on the board of the Public Education Committee of the National CASA Association, is a past vice president of the board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and a current member of the advisory board, serves on the advisory board of Barco’s Nightingale Foundation, and the We Deserve Love Too organization. She is a fellow of the Jefferson Fellowship for Executive Leadership. She is a recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, the National CASA Association Kappa Alpha Theta Program Director of the Year Award, the Ohio CASA/GAL Association Statewide Leadership Award and was a 2013 recipient of WSNY’s 20 Outstanding Women You Should Know. She is a requested national speaker on the topics of children, the child welfare system, and social innovation.

A graduate of the University of Louisville with graduate work completed at The Ohio State University, Soronen resides in Columbus, Ohio, and has four amazingly talented children.

Content from this campaign

Guest Blog: An Adoption Recruiter's Calling
Jill Ortiz is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter who works every day to find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care. Thirty seven years ago my family adopted my brother, Peter, from Korea and then several years later adopted my brother, Toby, through the foster care system. I can’t imagine life without my brothers and through this blessing of adoption I have two wonderful...
Jul 7, 2016 10:00 AM ET
Guest Blog: The Real Superheroes
Jessica Olson is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter and works every day to find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care. I have been a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter for more than four years and have come to crave the adrenaline rush of getting a new child on my caseload, to start learning about this child and the excitement of feeling like I may have just found the family...
Jun 30, 2016 2:00 PM ET
Frostys (and Your Phone!) for a Cause
Free Wendy’s® Frostys® are adding up to a half a million dollar donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and we couldn’t be more grateful. From June through December, T-Mobile customers who download the company’s app will receive T-Mobile alerts each week, which includes a coupon for a free Wendy’s Frosty. In return, T-Mobile is donating $500,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for...
Jun 9, 2016 9:30 AM ET
UMPS CARE Charities All-Star Scholarship Program: A Home Run
“Being in foster care and being adopted makes you different than other kids. But I never saw this as a bad thing.” - Cadence Cottom, Butler University Graduate.  Profound words from a bright young woman who has lived the life that so many at her age have not. Cadence Cottom accomplished her dream to graduate from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. A dream, that if you had asked...
May 25, 2016 2:00 PM ET
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Where the rubber meets the road. A cliché for where the hard work takes place, but for Wendy’s franchisee Ed Anderson, it’s truly where he plans to raise $1 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. After months of training, Ed will strap on his bike helmet, pump up his tires and hit the road for a two-month bike ride across America, all in the name of foster care adoption. ...
May 23, 2016 12:05 PM ET