Ann and Al Hill have been married for 53 years. They have raised two biological daughters, and have fostered 100 young girls over the past 30 years. After their girls went off to college, they decided to open their empty home to girls who had been placed in the foster care system.
Ann is 78 years old and Al is 79, and the couple were still serving as foster parents up until last year. Both were born in Georgia, but didn’t meet until both moved to Cincinnati. It was their sophomore year of high school when their paths finally crossed.
After being drafted into the military and serving in Vietnam, Al spent 37 years as a bus driver and manager. When asked about their decision to open their home to needy children, it was simply a matter of being able to meet a need, and choosing to meet it.
Ann retold a story about one of the girl’s they fostered. All they really knew about the girl was that her brother saved her from a fire by pushing her out the window. Eventually, the girl revealed that her brother had died in the fire.
Heartbroken for the girl and for the first time realizing how much she had lost, Ann found and framed a picture of her brother, and placed in by the girl’s bedside. It was in that moment that Ann realized how much she and Al were really doing for these girls.
“You know what you learn?” Al says to THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. “There are so many people with nowhere to go.”
The Hill’s can’t remember the names of all the girl’s they housed, but they do remember where they all went after they left their home. And they know this because they checked up on their girls after they left. Not all of their fosters went well. Some of the girls ran away. Some of them stole from the Hills. But everyone was loved.
Ann said that many of the girls still call them and join them for Thanksgiving Dinner. For the Hills, knowing they were there in a difficult time of need is payment enough.