LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – May is National Foster Care Month, and the Centers for Human Development hosted an event to celebrate local foster parents.

The event, held at Twin Hills Country Club, honored the people who open their homes to kids who don’t have one. An especially challenging feat during a pandemic.

“This past year with the pandemic has been challenging for all of us, but particularly challenging for foster parents, the remote learning, the technology, everything that they’ve had to do. Accepting kids during the pandemic,” Program Director, Rhonda Young, told 22News.

According to CHD, more than 400,000 children are in foster care across the country. CHD maintains 65 active foster care homes in western Massachusetts alone.

Dawn Eaton lives in Springfield has been involved in fostering kids her entire life, as her parents were foster parents. She and her husband have continued the service and are also foster parents.

“It’s amazing to see the amount of growth these kids have from the time they step foot in our door to the time that they leave whether or not they’re going home to family or getting adopted, it’s just amazing,” Eaton said.

Sabrina Bolden, another foster parent from Springfield told 22News she originally started fostering because she wanted her own son to experience having siblings. But now, she realizes fostering kids has had a lasting impact on her life.

“My husband and I have been foster parents for about 18 years, and the whole time we’ve been with Center of Human Development and we just love it,” Bolden said. “Every day is a learning day, having little ones in your home you learn so much from them.”