College students help out parents of 18 foster kids

EL CAJON, Calif. -- College students from around the country Friday helped two foster parents who have 18 special needs kids clean their El Cajon home.

“I think I’m tired when I actually do the work. I’m getting tired watching them do all of it. It’s wonderful. This is such a grand group of young people,” said Penny Hauer, foster mom.

Penny and her husband Chuck have dedicated their lives to helping others.

“They are my babies. The biggest of them are still my babies. I just have to call them my babies. We have 18 at home right now and we have adopted 44 total. I gave birth to five and I have the most marvelous grandchildren you have ever seen in your life,” said Penny.

The love Penny and her husband have is truly unconditional and is recognized by students with faith-based group Cru, which teamed up with Encinitas-based organization Passion 4 Kids.

“Just to feel like I’m part of this love that they have. If I can love them a fraction of how well they can love these kids, then I feel like I’m doing something right and that is just a huge blessing,” said Kaylin Starrett, junior at New Mexico State University.

At 77 and 80-years-old, doing daily tasks around the house may not be as easy. But continuing to show love is something they will do the rest of their lives.

“Each and every person on this earth, whether it’s just eye contact and a smile or just grabbing your hand, you don’t have to have a voice for people to know that you love them and they love you,” said Penny.

And the work of those 40 students doesn’t end at the Hauer home. They will be in San Diego throughout the summer going from home to home helping where they are needed.