Special movie event gives residents chance to help children in foster care after watching documentary about Kenyan who gives orphans a home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 2, 2017

MDHHS CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112

TREASURY CONTACT: Ron Leix, 517-335-2167

LANSING, Mich. – Moviegoers this week can watch a new documentary that tells the story of a Kenyan businessman who creates the world’s largest family for orphans. After the show, they can find out how to help foster youth in Michigan.

Showings of “Mully: Changing the World One Child at a Time,” will be in 80 Michigan movie theaters on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Locations and times are at www.mullymovie.com.

After watching the movie, in many of the theaters people can talk to representatives who can provide them with information about how to financially support Michigan’s Fostering Futures Scholarship program for youth who were in foster care. Representatives also can provide information on how to become a licensed foster parent or adopt from foster care.

Anyone who goes to a theater that doesn’t have a foster care representative present or who cannot attend one of the movie showings and would like to help children who experience foster care can go to www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome.

“The Mully story is an inspiration and should leave moviegoers thinking about what they can do to help children in need,” said Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to provide a call for action to find more loving homes for children in foster care and help them realize their dreams by going to college.”

Charles Mully, the subject of the documentary, was abandoned by his family at age 6. He became a business tycoon but decided to risk everything he had to create what would become the largest children’s rescue, rehabilitation and development agency in Africa.

Southfield native Paul Blavin produced “Mully.” The entrepreneur and philanthropist and his wife Amy established the Blavin Scholars Program at the University of Michigan to support youth aging out of foster care in pursuing a college education.

Blavin is also a supporter of the Fostering Futures Scholarship, an initiative of the Michigan Department of Treasury’s Michigan Education Trust in partnership with MDHHS.

He owns the movie production company FOR GOOD and was executive producer of “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about campus rape. That movie featured a song Blavin executive-produced working with pop singer Lady Gaga called “Til It Happens to You.” The song was nominated for a Grammy, Oscar and Emmy.

James Moll, who won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1999 for the Steven Spielberg movie “The Last Days,” is executive producer of “Mully.”

About 13,000 children are in the Michigan foster care system administered by MDHHS. Many want to attend college, but less than 10 percent enroll after high school and less than 3 percent eventually earn a degree. The Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund provides former foster care students who do not have adequate financial resources to attend college with a scholarship.

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