Raised in an abusive home, taken away to an orphanage, lost and wandering as a runaway, Darol Rodrock remembers vividly what it was like to be a child in need—alone, nowhere to go, and no one to call for help. That kind of desperation, confusion, and loneliness would be absolutely overwhelming for a young boy. For many, overcoming such a horrific past and finding the path to success would be an insurmountable challenge. Many would find themselves chained to the past, becoming a victim and carrying on an angry, violent legacy. Instead, Darol found Lavon and Ray Robinson, foster parents who would change his life.
The Darol Rodrock Foundation is inspired by his experience as a foster youth
“I was a lost 13 year-old. My own parents didn’t want me. I’d run away from everywhere. My life was headed in a dangerous direction.”
“They took me in when there was literally nowhere else for me to go,” Darol recalls. “I was a lost 13 year-old. My own parents didn’t want me. I’d run away from everywhere. My life was headed in a dangerous direction. Through the Robinsons’ unconditional love, and the care of many others along the way, I was able to turn what I experienced as a child into a passion for helping others.”
So on his 70th birthday, Darol, with support from his friends and partners formed the Darol Rodrock Foundation, which seeks to enrich the lives of foster children. The Foundation hopes to raise awareness about children in foster care and encourage people to take part in improving children’s lives, thereby shaping their future forever. Darol has committed himself to building a community for kids in foster care who don’t have the love of family or friends to lend them a helping hand.
Many of those aging out of foster care are in an especially difficult and/or dangerous situation.
They have come up through the state system, and at the age of 18, they are turned out on the streets as “adults” with very little support that most of us continue to receive from our family such as money, shelter, food, direction and no one to call. Darol says “Whether we realize it or not, these kids are in our community, making choices that will affect many generations to come. They need our help!”
THE FOUNDATION HISTORY
The ripple effect of what we are about to do together will forever change the lives of those who need us the most, our children
Board of Directors
Duncan Burdette Regional Chairman, Enterprise Bank & Trust Kansas City
Sara Corless Rodrock and Associates
Judy Johns Keller Williams Realty, The Johns Family Team, Inc.
Larry O’Donnell O’Donnell & Sons Construction
Brenda Sanders Rodrock and Associates, Realtors
Charlotte Pinnt Teuscher Honorary Board Member
Founder Darol Rodrock is known as a successful businessman, having developed about 80 communities in Johnson County. He’s been commended as an award-winning horseman and a generous friend who truly cares about lifting up those around him. Ambitious, driven and gifted with vision, Darol has been an inspiration to many.