A Downey woman who has fostered more than 200 children is being called “Mom of the Year.”
When her daughter Jamie was hospitalized 27 years ago, Alena Strickland was introduced to a terminally ill baby girl who had been abandoned. Strickland took the child home so she wouldn’t die alone, and the hospital has been calling on her for help ever since.
"I couldn’t say no," Strickland said. “I didn’t have an excuse to not take them in.”
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Strickland, who has three biological children, adopted 14 of her foster children.
Now, Strickland has been chosen for the “Mom of the Year” title by talk show host Steve Harvey, who sponsored a nationwide contest in honor of Mother’s Day. Strickland will receive $10,000 and a five-day trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Strickland was one of four viewer-nominated finalists for the prize.
“Growing up, she really made our house a home - a place where kids can come and feel welcomed and loved,” said Strickland’s daughter, Brooke, who nominated her mother.