POSTED ON DECEMBER 2, 2009:
A Little Helps a Lot
Time's almost up to support "Christmas for Kids" campaign
Thank you, readers! Within four weeks, you all have reached out through a number of e-mails and phone calls to our office. Many children have been selected, and we thank you all. But the tree still has children on it, and our hope is that all of the children on the opposite page will have Christmas gifts donated by our readers.
DHS has again partnered with various Tulsa businesses and organizations in order to provide gifts for between 1,300 and 1,400 children 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 children Christmas gifts. Last year, we were able to provide, through generous donations from our readers, gifts for more than 100 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, from infant to 18, in permanent DHS foster care. This year, clothing items can only be purchased for children 0-24 months old. All children older than the age of 13 can receive a department store or debit gift card. (Please make sure to check for fees and expiration dates for debit gift cards.) Electronics can be purchased as long as they do not exceed the $50-60 spending limit.
Confidentiality requires the children's names not be printed; numbers, instead, take their place. Choose one or two gifts to buy ($50-60 spending limit), then call Urban Tulsa Weekly at 592-5550 to tell us the numbered child you've selected, then bring the gift to our office, 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 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 offices 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, books, blocks, etc. For preschoolers: tricycles, educational toys, Legos, dress-up clothes, toy cars, dolls, 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 such as 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.
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.
The deadline to make your donation is Friday, Dec. 11. 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 Kathleen or Nancy, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org , with "Christmas for Kids" in the subject line.
In addition to, but separate from, the "Christmas for Kids" campaign, UTW has promoted adoption awareness for children in permanent foster care, with at least two or three children available for adoption showcased. The children who are 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.
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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