Thank you, readers! In three weeks, you have generously agreed to donate gifts to more than 30 children living in DHS foster care. The need is great, and we appreciate those of you who have called or come by with gifts. There are still plenty more children one our list, though, and we hope, as Thanksgiving puts everyone in the giving spirit, that soon all of the children on the opposite page will have Christmas gifts donated by our readers.
More than 1,400 children are living in the Tulsa County Shelter, foster homes, group homes, in-patient settings, contracted settings and reunified homes. UTW hopes to give, with generous support from our readers, at least 100 of those gifts. Last year, we were able to provide, through generous donations made by our readers, gifts for 150 children and an additional $1,500 in gift certificates for teenagers and other children not on the list.
The tree on the opposite page lists the Christmas wishes of children in permanent DHS foster care, ages infant to 18.
Confidentiality requires the children's names not be printed; numbers, instead, take their place. Choose one or two gifts to buy, then bring them to Urban Tulsa Weekly's offices, at 710 S. Kenosha.
Do not wrap the gift, but affix somewhere the number of the child for which the gift is intended. The foster parents and group home workers enjoying wrapping these gifts and sharing a part of their children's Christmas joy.
Readers are also invited to buy non-specific but oft-requested gifts and bring them to our offices unwrapped. Gifts that are always needed include car seats, dolls, infant toys, pre-school educational toys, bicycles and tricycles, games, remote control vehicles, sleeping and overnight bags, bath/body items, cassette/CD players and radios, electronic hand-held games, sports equipment and jewelry.
Sometimes overlooked in campaigns like these are the needs of older children in DHS custody, who tend to want and need clothes, music and make-up. For these children and others, DHS strong recommends buying gift certificates to Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl's, Ross, Gordman's, Old Navy, or Woodland Hills or Promenade Mall.
From the campaign's get-go last year, we were overwhelmed with the generosity of our readers, leading us to add new children to our tree almost every week. By the end, a generous, anonymous donor bought gift certificates for the remaining children on the list.
The deadline to make your donation is Monday, Dec. 10. Please bring all donations to our offices at 710 S. Kenosha in downtown Tulsa between 7th and 8th Streets. For information or inquiries, call 592-5550 and ask for Kendra or Nancy or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Christmas for Kids" as the subject.
In addition to but separate from the Christmas for Kids Campaign, UTW will spend the month promoting adoption awareness for children in permanent foster care, with at least two or three children available for adoption showcased each week. The children in the photos are separate from those featured on the Christmas tree. We hope these photos and biographies will inspire some of our readers to consider adoption as a way of completing their families. For more inspiration stories of adoption, see last week's cover feature, "The Making of a Family," in the Nov. 1-7 issue.
If you are interested in finding out more about adoption or adopting one of the children seen in Urban Tulsa Weekly, contact Jane Eneff at DHS, 581-2552.
And, if as you're reading you have questions about adoption you think UTW should address during National Adoption Awareness Month, please e-mail Managing Editor Holly Wall at email@example.com. As we continue to cover adoption and foster care issues, we will attempt to provide as much content and information as possible.
We urge you to open your hearts this holiday season and assist our children in having a very merry Christmas.
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