POSTED ON DECEMBER 3, 2008:
Thinking of the Children
Time is running out for the "Christmas for Kids" campaign
Thank you, readers! In four weeks, you have generously agreed to donate gifts to more than 65 children living in DHS foster care. The need is great, and we appreciate those of who have called. There are still plenty more children on our list, though, and we hope that all the names 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, especially young people who enjoy the holiday so much.
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 will again partner 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. 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 numbers off the tree ($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.
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. 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.
In addition to, but separate from, the "Christmas for Kids" campaign, UTW spent the month promoting adoption awareness for children in permanent foster care, with at least two or three children available for adoption showcased each week. We will continue that coverage into this first week of December. 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 to complete their families.
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.
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