Thank you, readers! In the past five weeks, you have generously agreed to donate gifts to more than 90 children living in DHS foster care. The need is great, and we appreciate those who have called. There are still more children on our list, though, and we hope that all the children on the opposite page will have Christmas gifts donated by our readers. Even in these sparing times, we encourage readers to think about those who have less.
In 2007, through the generosity of countless donors, 1,451 Tulsa County children victimized by abuse and/or neglect and placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services had their Christmas wishes fulfilled. DHS partnered again with various Tulsa businesses and organizations in order to provide gifts for the children living in the Tulsa County Shelter, foster homes, group homes, in-patient settings, contracted settings and reunified homes.
UTW hopes to give, with support from our readers, at least 100 of those gifts. We're almost there! Last year, we were able to provide, through generous donations made by our readers, gifts for 150 children and additional gift certificates for teenagers and other children not on the list.
The gifts on the opposite page lists the Christmas wishes of children in permanent DHS foster care, aged infant to 18. This year, clothing items can only be purchased for children aged 0-24 months. All children aged 13 and older can receive a gift card (Visa or Mastercard work well because children can choose where to spend). Electronics can be purchased as long as they do not exceed the $50-60 spending limit.
Confidentiality requires that the children's names not be printed; numbers, instead, take their place. Choose one or two gifts to buy ($50-60 spending limit), then bring them to Urban Tulsa Weekly's office, 710 S. Kenosha.
Do not wrap the gift, but affix somewhere the number of the child for whom the gift is intended. The foster parents and group home workers enjoy 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 office unwrapped. These gifts can be used for "Christmas for Kids" and throughout the year for additional celebrations and occasions. For infants: activity walkers/saucers, tummy time mats, crib toys/mobiles, soft plastic or cloth books, rattles, teething rings, etc. For toddlers: small riding toys, musical toys, educational toys, puzzles, book, blocks, etc. For preschoolers: tricycles, educational toys, Legos, dress-up clothes, dolls, toy cars, crayons and coloring books, etc. For elementary children: bikes w/ safety gear, scooters, educational games, books, figurines, board games, sports equipment and balls, Barbies, handheld games, Lego sets, and musical instruments. For teens: gift cards, books, portable CD players, movies, sleeping bags, makeup, jewelry, wallets, watches, etc.
Also, many of our readers last year were kind enough to donate stockings filled with small items like books, inexpensive toys and toiletries along with their gifts. We know the children who received these were excited to have that extra little surprise from their special "Santas." We appreciated the generosity and would love to see more stockings provided this year.
The deadline to make your donation is Friday, Dec. 12. Please bring all donations to our office at 710 S. Kenosha, in downtown Tulsa between 7th and 8th Streets, just north of Home Depot. For information or inquiries, call 592-5550 and ask for Daniel or Nancy; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Christmas for Kids" as the subject.
Also, DHS welcomes readers to donate other gift items that are not listed on the tree. They appreciate all donations and assure that everything and anything can be used.
Many thanks to all who have participated in this year's campaign, and happy holidays!
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