DENVER (CBS4) – Anyone who knew Dixie van de Flier Davis was left with a lasting impression. Her passion for helping children who were languishing in foster care was unmatched, and she had a clear vision of innovative ways to help those children. It started in 1979, when she approached, then KOA-TV — now CBS4 — to do profiles of the kids at first called Sunday’s Child, later changed to Wednesday’s Child. She created notebooks with pictures and profiles of the kids that could be shared with prospective parents. She started holding parties where prospective parents could casually meet with eligible kids. And in 1983, Dixie van de Flier Davis started The Adoption Exchange, now known as Raise the Future.

(credit Raise the Future)

Davis passed away in February of 2022 leaving a lasting legacy of lives saved.

“Being adopted was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Lauren in 2012, the former Wednesday’s Child had grown into a beautiful young woman with the help of the family who adopted her.

Davis was a tireless advocate for older youth, sibling groups, and children living with disabilities in foster care, and she turned every person she met into an advocate too.

“If I had one word to describe her it would be determination,” said Ray Nutt, former Board Chair and long-time supporter of Raise the Future. “When she got something in her mind that she wanted to do, it got done.”

“Once you meet Dixie, you’re done. You can never ever get away from her passion , from her enthusiasm, and what she met to the kiddos,” said Pam Kiker, also a former Board Chair and long-time supporter of Raise the Future.

(credit CBS)

David Eaton met Davis when he was about 10-years-old and still hopeful that he would be adopted.

“I was adopted twice and both of those fell through. And when I met Dixie, I was going to be adopted a third time, and , of course, that didn’t come about,” Eaton explained.

As he got older with no family to support him, Davis stayed right by his side.

“Not only did she encourage me to talk about my story, she encouraged countless other people to talk about their story because she know that once they talked about their story, they would be able to move on,” Eaton told CBS4.

Davis knew the stories of young people, like Eaton, by heart, and pulled them all together into a book.

“After 25-years with the Adoption Exchange, I’ve learned that love can’t change the past, but every day I see it change the future in powerful ways. It changes the one who is loved and certainly changes the one who loves,” Nutt read from the book. “I think that really summarizes Dixie, who she was and what she stood for.”

(credit CBS)

39-years-ago, Davis had a clear vision, and since then 10,460 children have been lifted out of foster care into loving homes. That is a legacy of leadership.

“She isn’t really gone,” Eaton said. “She’s only gone if people forget about her.”

LINK: For more information about A Day for Wednesday’s Child

You can help Raise the Future create more families like this by calling 303-755-3975 to make a donation or get more information. You can also give by texting “2022 DWC” to 71777.

Libby Smith