The holidays are a time of year when friends and family head home to gather, celebrate and reflect. We come together around tables and give thanks for the blessings in our lives– but there are many children who don’t have a safe and stable home to go to for the holidays. They won’t experience the feeling of home either; that sense of closeness, connection and community so many of us take for granted at this time of year.
For over 443,000 U.S. children in foster care, and many others receiving treatment in psychiatric hospitals, enjoying holiday traditions with family may not be possible, and making plans for the future may seem impossible as well. Children who find themselves in foster care have often been removed from their parents because of abuse or neglect, and it is unsafe to remain in their homes. These families are going through a crisis. Foster care is a safe option that gives each child and his or her family an opportunity to resolve conflicts or disruptions and learn healthy skills so they can safely reunite.
Across the nation, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-14. Children who are experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and the impacts of trauma may need inpatient acute or residential psychiatric treatment to achieve mental health wellness. Many families struggle to find adequate care for these children due to a nationwide shortage in care options.
At KVC we envision a world in which every person is safe and connected to a strong family and a healthy community. We want everyone to have a place to call home and we need your help to do it. You can help bring home to a child or teen in need during the holidays and throughout the year in a variety of ways.
Make a Donation
Donate to KVC and show a child or teen that they matter. There are so many ways to make a difference! Make a monetary donation. Become a Holiday Hero and provide holiday gifts to children who may otherwise go without. Sponsor or attend one of our fundraising events. Sign up for our Everyday Hero monthly giving program. Donate school supplies. No matter what you give, your gift makes a difference.
Volunteer Your Time and Talents
We’re always looking for volunteers to help us with events and other projects throughout the year. We invite you to join a committee to help plan our major fundraising events, or volunteer to help with our Resource Family Conference or Holiday Hero program. If you have a talent that you would like to share with KVC to support children and teens in need, contact your local KVC office to see how you can help.
Sponsor a Fundraising Event
KVC Health Systems hosts three major fundraising events in the greater Kansas City area: The Hero Luncheon featuring some of Kansas City’s most recognized personalities, The KVC Kids Classic Golf Tournament and The Gala at the Station. Corporations and businesses are essential partners in our efforts to provide for the safety and wellbeing of our community’s children. In the past year, corporate underwriting helped KVC serve and positively impact 71,560 people. We helped to keep 7,036 families safely together; supported 7,106 children in KVC foster families; found loving, forever families for 808 children through adoption; provided in-home services to 26,894 children and adults; and treated 3,090 youth and adults at our psychiatric hospitals. Read more about our results in our 2019 Impact Report and consider sponsoring one of these events in 2020.
Educate Yourself and Others
As noted above, there are over 443,000 U.S. children in foster care, and suicide rates continue to increase for teens. You can be an advocate for them by raising awareness and educating others. KVC publishes new content frequently on our website and social media pages. Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up for email updates. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and share our posts.
Foster or Adopt a Child or Teen
Perhaps the most profound way you can make a difference is to open your heart and home to a child or teen in foster care. Foster and adoptive parents provide a safe and caring environment, and help ensure that every child receives the education, medical care and support they need to thrive. They also play an important role in helping children recover from the trauma and/or neglect they have experienced. More foster parents are needed in every community so that children can remain close to what is familiar to them, especially their families and schools. More than half of children who enter foster care are eventually safely reunited with their families.
If reunification is not possible, the goal becomes matching the child or teen with an adoptive family. Visit our adoption website to meet children in need of a family. It takes a special calling to be a foster or adoptive parent, but everyone can do something to help a child or teen in foster care.