People who know Ron and Sharon Robb know that the human heart has an infinite capacity for love. When they married 25 years ago, Ron had three children and Sharon four. But they had more to give, so along the way they adopted four children with special needs, expanding their tribe to 11.
Even that wasn’t enough. The deplorable conditions they often saw in institutionalized foster care convinced them that more children needed help, so for the last 15 years, the retired couple has operated Sarasota Infant Home, a 24/7 emergency center that is the first contact for hospitals in Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto counties. Working with with some of the top child care specialists in Florida, the Robbs have cared for more than 900 children in the six-bedroom home they purchased from Agape Home for Youth.
"I’ve always understood babies," says Sharon, who took in her first foster child 19 years ago. Today, several part-time employees and volunteers help with their charges, who can number from one to eight at any given time. "As long as God wants me to do it, I’ll hang in there," says the 61-year-old grandmother.
Most are infants born to durg-abusing mothers.. Older children may have run away from troubled homes or have been physically or emotionally abused. Here they can find safety and a sense of family, since all the Robbs’ foster children share in family activities, birthdays and holidays.
With all that traffic, Sharon says the home constantly needs repairs and loving volunteers. If you’d like to help, call Sarasota Infant Home, 362-4115.