Foster kids need your loving care this holiday season. We all know that the holidays are a time for family, but foster kids do not have a strong support system to receive all that they need; such as a winter jacket, a wonderful toy, even just the confirmation that someone out there cares for them. This Christmas, consider opening more than just the presents under your Christmas tree, and open your heart to a foster child by going out and finding that gift that could make their holiday brighter.
“Home sweet home” can be hard for a foster child to find
Christmas is a season of fun and festivity, but for a foster child it can be a challenging time. Many foster children are separated from their families during the Christmas season, and through no choice of their own, they live with new families that can have entirely different traditions and values than what they are used to. It is common for a foster child to go through 3 or more foster home placements while in the system. Consequently, foster children often find it tough to cultivate relationships with others when their living environments lack stability. As a result, they may be distant or unresponsive to the same joys that holiday festivities normally bring to a child.
There are approximately half a million foster children in the US and according to FosterClub and Kids Are Waiting, projects of The Pew Charitable Trusts, there will be 340,000 children in foster care this year that won’t be spending the holiday with permanent families. Moreover, children living in foster care typically spend 29 months in the system, which incidentally means they will be without permanent families for at least 2 holiday seasons.
Toy drive helps boost the Christmas spirit in a foster child
This Christmas, many foster children are wishing for that sense of belonging that family offers. With this in mind, Sleep Country USA, the No. 1 mattress seller in the Northwest, has teamed up with 16 nonprofit foster organizations across Oregon and Washington to host the Sleep Country Secret Santa Toy Drive for Foster Kids. The company is hoping to collect new and unwrapped gifts for foster kids in need. Local community members are asked to donate at any of the company’s more than 70 stores throughout Washington and Oregon. To find the store nearest you, call 888-88SLEEP or visit http://www.sleepcountry.com. If the donation is too large for your car, call 253-236-0921 and a delivery truck will come and pick it up. Online donations can be made at https://secure.sleepcountry.com/donations.aspx. Donations are being accepted until December 11th.
A little goes a long way
It may be true that a bike, scooter, doll, Lego set and iPod are just toys, but in receiving a toy Christmas morning, a foster child knows that someone in the community remembered them and wishes them a “Merry Christmas.”
Sleep Country knows that while not everyone can be a foster parent, anyone can help a foster child.