Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) West region employees raised more than $2,800 to ensure that children in foster care are able to enjoy a day at the Kansas State Fair. The total amount raised was unveiled during a news conference this afternoon, at the DCF service center in South Hutchinson.
DCF and its contracted foster care provider, Saint Francis Community Services, announced the final amount collected from its employees. Susan Sankey, General Manager of the Kansas State Fair, attended the celebration and expressed her appreciation for the work of DCF and Saint Francis to protect Kansas children and offer them this fun-filled opportunity to participate in the fair.
The $2,843.26 funds raised will be used to purchase tickets for fair attractions, which will be provided to youth in foster care and their families who attend the Saint Francis Community Services-sponsored Resource Parent Appreciation Day on Sept. 11, at the fair.
Resource Parent Appreciation Day, a celebration and promotion of foster parents, has been sponsored by Saint Francis for the past four years. Saint Francis provides the participants with free admission to the fair and a free meal during the day.
With a donation from Saint Francis that raised the total to $3,400, now 833 children who attend the Parent Appreciation Day event will receive tickets they can use on rides.
“We serve children who are experiencing some of the worst moments of their lives, and our hearts ache for them, so for us to be able to show them we care by ensuring they have a wonderful day at the fair, is so rewarding,” said Tina O’Brien, Social Work Specialist at the Hutchinson Service Center. “Our staff got so motivated, we exceeded our goal of $2,244. We wound up raising $2,843.”
DCF raised the funds by offering four days on which employees could purchase the right to wear blue jeans to work for $5.
Patrice Claassen, Director of Foster Care Homes for Saint Francis, helped coordinate the fundraising effort.
“For Saint Francis, the Resource Parent Appreciation Day is a real highlight,” Claassen said. “It allows us to honor the real heroes we work with in our communities, the providers of foster care.
We were so thrilled when DCF’s employees stepped up give out of their own pockets to provide for the kids at the fair, that we were more than happy to jump in to increase the amount to $3,400.”
Claassen said that as a corporate sponsor, Saint Francis will have a presence Friday through next Monday at the fair, where it will recruit foster care providers and promote the Sate’s foster care system.
“We have a great appreciation for how important the work of foster care is in Kansas,” Sankey said.
“We so appreciate those who provide foster care, and those who work to make sure that the foster care system in Kansas is working well. So we are so proud to have Saint Francis Community Services as one of our corporate sponsors and one of our partners for a very special event—Resource Provider Appreciation Day.”
Patrice Claassen, Saint
Francis Community Services (left), and Tina O’Brien, DCF (right), announce the
final amounts raised to allow children in foster care to enjoy rides at the
Kansas State Fair.