By KYW community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  When Valerie Crabbe and Larry Harris got married, they already had six kids between them, making them parents with a capital “P.”

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But not long after they joined forces, they decided to expand their family.

“We adopted two girls,” says Crabbe, “and our ten years together have been all about these girls.”

Angie and Odelia came from therapeutic foster care and had lived in group homes.   Valerie and Larry showed patience and understanding, changing the girls for the better.

“It’s like a caterpillar going into a cocoon and coming out a butterfly,” Harris says.

It went so well, in fact, that Crabbe says she was inspired:  “My heart said, ‘Val, you have to do more.’ ”

(Valerie Crabbe and her daughter Odelia.  Photo provided)

(Valerie Crabbe and her daughter Odelia. Photo provided)


So, a year and a half ago, this dynamic duo started the Being Beautiful Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for children in foster care.

“It’s our mission to go out and make them feel special,” says Crabbe.

They hold empowerment classes, host “Camp Butterfly,” and raise awareness about the need for more adults who are willing to open their homes to children in foster care.

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(A "Being Beautiful" empowerment workshop.  Photo provided)

(A “Being Beautiful” empowerment workshop. Photo provided)


“These kids are out there, they need families, and we’re going to try to make that happen,” says Harris.

On March 12th, the Being Beautiful Foundation will host its second annual Pinnacle Awards fundraiser.  Last year they honored Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams. This year, the honoree is Steve Pemberton, top diversity executive at Walgreens.

Pemberton’s memoir, A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home, tells the story of his time suffering abuse while in foster care.   Harris and Crabbe hope his story will inspire others.

Hear the extended interview with Valerie Crabbe and Larry Harris in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 10:30)…


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