Jack Williams’ ” Wednesday’s Child” is a unique television segment presented on each Wednesday during the airing of WBZ-TV evening news by now legendary anchorman Jack Williams. The weekly item has been a part of Wednesday night news in Boston for 29 years. Williams’ success with the Wednesday’s Child program has extended in a sense beyond the greater Boston area as other television stations across the country have sought to incorporate similar offerings.
The goal of Jack Williams’ Wednesday’s Child weekly presentation is to raise awareness of the need for adoption of special needs kids in the greater Boston area. Routinely, Jack Williams, working through Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange visits with young people who are waiting for adoption. Frequently those visited are children of color, sometimes siblings, and often children with physical, emotional or learning difficulties. All share in common the lack of a permanent adoptive family and the stability that hopefully comes with committed parents.
Williams interviews a young person who is awaiting adoption and in the course of the brief conversation tries to capture the personality and certainly the child’s endearing traits. Williams’ ability to engage children in easy flowing conversation is a reflection of more than just his reporting skills. His care and concern for each child as an individual with great potential has the effect of focusing viewers attention and concern. Most children who are interviewed seem relaxed in their informal chat and provide television audiences with a very touching image of children who simply want a permanent home with a mother and father.
While there are many prospective parents in New England who are considering adoption, most are looking for an infant. Jack Williams’ Wednesday’s Child segment stirs us all to confront the basic truth that there are many children who fall between the cracks, children who are not adopted as infants or who at some later time become orphaned for many different reasons. The number of prospective parents willing to adopt school aged children is considerably shorter than the line to adopt infants. When you add to the adoptive process a difference in race, a sibling, or special needs of any kind. the likelihood of adoption can be but a flickering hope.
The awareness that Jack Williams’ Wednesday’s Child segment has raised has produced results. During his years of involvement with the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Williams along with his wife Marci have been successful in conducting many fund raising events to help enhance funding available for the processes involved in the adoption of children. For example Jack Williams has sponsored the annual “Jack Williams Ski Race for Wednesday’s Child”, walks, banquets and personal appearances that have brought in some $4 million to aid in this most touching cause. Of course the most important figure is the incredible number of children with special needs who have found adoptive families thanks to Jack Williams’ Wednesday’s Child” segment – more than 500 and counting.
Over the years Williams has been assisted in his efforts on behalf of adoption by small donors who watch him faithfully on WBZ-TV and large corporate donors like Wendy’s, Volvo and American Airlines. Williams and his wife are so personally invested in the needs of orphaned children that they have looked into the future and hope to continue assisting children even after their own demise through the an endowment fund.
You can find a way to help to by simply viewing the Jack Williams Wednesdays Child Website. Even if you can’t make an immediate donation, the sight will lift your spirits with the knowledge it imparts of all the good that Williams has initiated on behalf of children with special needs who are without permanent families.