COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Twin brothers stopped in Columbus Friday as part of their 50-state journey advocating for youth in the foster care system.
Davon and Tavon Woods, of South Carolina, walked in Downtown Columbus Friday to raise awareness for the more than 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. The twins, now aged out of foster care, are trying to shed light on the flawed system and mistreatment that often occurs within it.
“There’s a lot of kids in the system that grew up how we did. We didn’t tell anybody nothing, we held all of that stuff in,” Tavon Woods said. “So, when we finally got the chance to tell it, we went crazy. So, I would just say that’s one of our biggest things just to continue to get our story out and other kids stories heard all across the world.”
The Woods brothers said they were taken from their biological parents at birth, placed into a foster care home and then adopted. Their struggles, like so many others, didn’t end there.
“It was rain and clouds,” Davon Woods said. “So, that’s why we’re doing what we do. We went 17 years not knowing anything about our biological family, not knowing anything about ourselves as a kid. It was very hurtful.”
The Woods brothers’ story went beyond not knowing the identity of their parents. Maltreatment and abuse, they said, are two issues that are too often swept under the rug.
“There’s so much kids getting miss treated, getting abused, neglected […] I go on about this forever […] the list goes on.”
The duo is now trekking across all 50 U.S. states to create a conversation about the system in hopes of inspiring children currently in the foster care system.
Beginning their journey in Georgia, the twins said they walked to Florida and received unexpected support and companions along the way. They are scheduled to travel to North Carolina on Saturday.
“The impact that our walk had from Georgia to Florida, we were like ‘Woah, we didn’t even expect all of this support and all this stuff,’” Tavon Woods said. “And we was like ‘Man, we gotta keep it going, we gotta keep it,’ cause people are wanting to know more, wanting to know how they can help. So we like let’s just keep it going, let’s just hit all 50 states, cause it happens in every state. So why not hit every state to bring awareness to people that don’t know what’s going on in the foster care system.”