LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - More than 4,600 kids are in Arkansas’ foster care system. Friday, July 13, THV11 is partnering with Project Zero to collect school supplies for foster kids as part of Christmas in July. It’s a need an Arkansas state representative knows firsthand, as he is now raising eight under eight, all through adoption.

“It was just a huge need,” said Representative David Meeks. “There were a lot of homes open to foster care, but they could only take one or two kids.”

When David Meeks became a state representative, he and his wife Naomi truly learned how big of a need there is.

“I was hearing reports of how many kids were in foster care," said Meeks.

They also struggled with infertility, but had a desire to grow a family. In 2014, they took in their first sibling group of three to foster.

“They had been split up, so knowing this sibling group would be together warmed our hearts," said Meeks.

A year later, they made it official through adoption.

They continued fostering, but eventually decided adoption was best fit for their family and they knew they wanted a sibling group.

“We called our caseworker and told her the decision we made and about an hour later she called us back and said, ‘Would you be interested in a sibling group of five?’ We're like, ‘Wow, five, that would give us eight. Can we handle it?’"

Knowing only their ages, they quickly learned they actually knew the five siblings.

"Lo and behold we knew the children. They came to our church and we did everything we could to help them out before they came into foster care," said Meeks.

The adoption was finalized Tuesday, July 3, 2018 making the Meeks parents of eight under eight. They’re celebrating their adoption Friday at their church in Conway, Bible Baptist Church.

They hope their story shows the impact of opening up your home.

“They’re waiting for a home to be forever theirs," said Meeks.

Even if you don't think you can open your home right now, there are still so many ways you can help. We need your help to send foster kids back to school with everything they need. Join THV11 and Project Zero Friday, July 13, at the Chenal Parkway Kroger for Christmas in July. We’ll collect gift cards, school supplies, and cash donations for local foster families. We will broadcast live from 5-7p.m.