Moving Between Foster Care Homes Can Be Costly. This Founder Wants to Help
International Van Lines CEO Josh Morales adopted the first two foster kids he and his wife hosted. Then he started doing pro bono moves for other kids and families in the system.
Josh Morales has a soft spot for kids. The 40-year-old founder of International Van Lines, a moving company based in Coral Springs, Florida, with annual revenue of $35 million, could do just about anything with his spare time, money, and all that sunshine. But instead of golfing, racing cars, or deep-sea fishing, the father of three coaches youth soccer. He’s also a major advocate for foster care, and has been since he and his wife ended up adopting the first two children they fostered more than a decade ago. “Going into it, our assumption was that we were going to have a revolving door,” says Morales. “But these two boys came into our lives, and they never left.”
More typically, foster kids move from place to place–a lot. And though his boys, now 11 and 13, stayed put, his interactions with the system gave Morales an idea for another way to give back: He’d help foster kids and families move for free. Through that work, and word of mouth, another constituency in need began to reach out: women in distress. “Some of the calls we would get were, I mean, unbelievable,” Morales says. “We’re talking about women who are frantic.” So in 2015, he began offering free moves to victims of domestic violence, often out of state. Those moves can cost upwards of $8,000 each; moving foster kids locally, he says, costs the company between $2,500 and $3,500. Morales estimates the company does around 25 to 35 pro bono moves a year, which amounts to around $100,000.
“I personally come from a very poor family,” says Morales, who grew up in Queens in New York City. “And I love kids; they’re our future. I like teaching them. I like mentoring them. This is just a way for us to give back.”