Many thanks to our readers! Urban Tulsa Weekly's third annual "Christmas for Kids" campaign was once again a tremendous success. More than 125 children living in Oklahoma's Department of Human Services foster care system will now have gifts under their Christmas trees this year. We were able to add more children's names to our tree after only the first week! We are thankful that every child's name has been removed from the tree.
Several readers, organizations and businesses went above and beyond with their donations, bringing in more than what was included on each child's wish list. Others brought in gifts without ever selecting a name off the tree. The abundance of toys, clothes, electronics and extra gift certificates for DHS is astounding.
One key "Christmas for Kids" provider was Interstate Batteries. Celebrating the recent opening of its new store, Interstate All Battery Center, 8007 E. 61st St., the company provided more than 125 batteries of varied sizes to DHS.
Kent Chapin, IABC Senior Marketing Director, said Interstate knew DHS was a reputable organization and they could help the foster children. They also donated nearly 20 extra electronic toys and games to add to the children's Christmas joy.
"We knew this would be a great opportunity to serve the community and we just want to be good corporate citizens by offering power solutions to our customers," Chapin said.
Everyone understands the aggravation of opening a new electronic and then realizing batteries are not included. For a child, this lack of power can lead to a real tantrum and frustration for all.
At the distribution center, Maura Browne, volunteer coordinator at DHS, had an easy time tossing in the appropriate batteries with each electronic toy game.
"All these batteries are great and all the sizes are coming in handy," Browne said. "I am sure we will use all of them."
And speaking of being without power, a special thank you goes to 2 Fellas & a Big Truck Moving Company, who assisted DHS on Monday. They braved a dangerously icy Tulsa and picked up gifts from a participating business and drove them to the distribution site (where foster parents will be able to pick up the gifts).
"Despite the terrible weather, they answered the phone and sent over a truck right away," Browne said. "And they did it for free."
On behalf of DHS and the children in the foster care system, Browne wanted to extend special thanks to those who helped set up the distribution center. The list includes: Walden Properties for donating the space, Triple A Insurance for covering liability costs, Tulsa Fixtures for providing tables and racks for the gifts and Bright Construction for cleaning the space.
"There were tons and tons of behind the scenes donors who also made all this happen as well," she added.
We extend our gratitude to the generous readers who took the time to shop for these kids and bring the gifts to UTW. The list on this page includes the names of this year's donors who helped brighten the holidays for these children (apologies for any misspellings). Many of our donors wished to remain anonymous, and we want to make sure you know that we appreciate your generosity as well. And for those who may have preferred to remain anonymous, know that your name may serve as inspiration for your peers to help serve the foster care children in Tulsa this next Christmas season.
Also, if you are still interested in learning more about adoption or are considering adopting a child, please contact Jane Eneff at DHS, 581-2552.
Thank you again and happy holidays.
Urban Tulsa Weekly Administration and Staff
(Pullbox of names of those who donated gifts)
Thank you to all those who donated to our "Christmas for Kids" campaign!
Micki & Becca Curtis
Don Eller & Carrie Wilson
Dr. William Harris II
Dr. Marsha Howerton
Dr. Charles Knife Chief
Lab at St. Francis
Dr. Lora Larson
Christina Maxwell & the Tulsa Opera Staff
Dr. Teressa McHenry
Alexander & Ian Roth
Keith & Julie Skrzypczak
Dr. Nirupama De Silva
Dan, Laura & Ford Smolen
Cheryl & Chris Westfall
All our anonymous donors
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