Our Foster Kids
Our Foster Kids
We All Have the Power to Make a Child’s Christmas a Little Bit Brighter!
Thousands of gifts, hundreds of children, dozens of volunteers, and one “Santa Claus”
This is what it takes to make sure that the foster children in Josephine County get a stellar Christmas despite the fact that they are separated from what they know at a time when everyone is talking about “being with family”.
We know a few gifts can’t replace the love of a parent or quality time spent with family but it most certainly CAN mean that for a few hours on Christmas day each foster child feels like they are “normal” at their foster home.
All year, our executive director, Bea Ryan, is always working behind the scenes preparing for our annual Christmas gift-giving program. It goes into full time mode just before Thanksgiving and it looks WAY easier than it is. It is no easy feat to collect, sort, bag, and deliver literally thousands of gifts. But thanks to the generosity of our community (providing gifts) and our volunteers (sorting and bagging gifts) and our “Santa” (delivering gifts), each Christmas since our first in 2006 the need has grown.
A representative of Our Foster Kids delivers Christmas Angel trees to about a dozen local businesses. Each tree is hung with “angel tags” printed with the first name and age of a foster child and, when ever possible, a wishlist with 2-3 items that the child would love to receive. The good citizens of our community can choose one or more angel tags and provide a gift (or sometimes an entire wishlist is taken care of). There are wrapped barrels at each tree where the gifts are placed before they are collected by another OFK “elf”.
Back at Santa’s headquarters, the gifts are collected, sorted, and prepared for delivery to the case worker serving each foster child. Each bag is filled with 4-6 gifts plus some stocking stuffer items as well as a beautiful handmade quilt or blanket made especially for Our Foster Kids by local crafters and artisans.
Even if not all the angel tags are pulled and fulfilled, we are able to put together a large bag of gifts for each child because, throughout the entire year, Bea/Santa is working to fill our toy and gift coffers ensuring that each and every child will receive multiple gifts. Large donations are sometimes provided and always welcomed. Our goal is to provide each child 10+ years of age with a new piece of electronic equipment and a few gift cards to local stores.
At Christmas, we need helpers during the day or evening hours 5-7 days a week. If you, or a group you represent or manage, would like to volunteer there is sure to be a time and place where a couple of hours on your part will bring joy to a child for possibly even a whole year or more!
Having a successful Christmas means being diligent all year about collecting gifts and securing donations. Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow you the time to volunteer but you still want to contribute to the joy of a child, your donation of a gift or cash is gratefully accepted.
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