TOPEKA - Christmas can be a difficult time for children in foster care and the young adults who have aged out of the State’s care. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is working with its foster care contractors, KVC and Saint Francis -Community Services, to bring Christmas cheer to children in foster care and aged-out youth through a wide range of events this month (details below).
This morning, KVC held a gift collection/sorting event to ensure that children in foster care have a present to open on Christmas. Each year, KVC coordinates a gift drive to brighten the holidays for more than 3,000 children in foster care. KVC serves the East and Kansas City DCF regions. Saint Francis Community Services provides Christmas gifts for all the children in its care. Serving 75 percent of the counties in Kansas (in DCF’s West and Wichita regions), they use a variety of opportunities for people to contribute to making Christmas a joy for children.
“Children in foster care may be struggling right now, and it’s important we do what we can as a community to let them know they are important and deserve a bright future,” DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said.
There are more than 6,000 children in foster care. Approximately 350 age out of the system every year. For these children and young adults, the efforts of KVC, Saint Francis and DCF are especially uplifting during the holidays.
Saint Francis provides an opportunity for online giving through www.ChristmasforKids.com
. It also organizes “adoptions” of each child in care through Christmas ornaments printed with a child’s wishes of what they truly want under the tree. Saint Francis also provides gift cards for each family to provide the holiday meals.
For youth who have aged out of foster care, DCF can offer hope through services and support throughout the year to help them with the next step of their lives. This year, 55 of these young people have been given gifts to make the holiday more special. For more information on how you can help youth who have aged out of foster care, contact Independent Living Outreach Coordinator Bubba Dowling at 785-296-4712 or email Bubba.Dowling@ks.gov
Upcoming gift collection/sorting event (for possible media coverage):
- 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16 – Massive gift delivery/sorting at Sankey Auto Center, 801 E Crawford St., Salina. Contact Saint Francis Marketing Coordinator Brenna Talley for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-823-2036.