Each year, children and teens all over the world hope to open special gifts intended just for them during the holidays. Children in foster care or receiving psychiatric treatment in our children’s hospitals and individuals with developmental disabilities who KVC serves hope for the same thing. Over the holiday season, many individuals and organizations become Holiday Heroes to donate and give gifts to more than 6,300 children and teens receiving child welfare system or behavioral healthcare services. Holiday Heroes are individuals, businesses, churches, groups, and other organizations who donated toys, clothing, games, gift cards, electronics and more for vulnerable youth to help make their Christmas or other holiday traditions special.
As a nonprofit organization that supports children and families in Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Kansas and Nebraska, KVC works to:
- strengthen families by providing in-home support and behavioral healthcare,
- provide foster care for children by partnering with relatives, other kin and foster families,
- support a safe family reintegration for families whose children needed temporary foster care,
- match youth with loving adoptive families,
- provide aftercare to support families who have safely reintegrated or adopted, and
- provide children’s psychiatric treatment at its hospitals.
Each of these services involves children and parents who are overcoming challenges in order to be safe, healthy and connected to others. One simple thing that communities can do to support vulnerable families is rally around them during the holidays.
KVC provides family services in partnership with state agencies including the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the West Virginia Department for Health and Human Services and many others. KVC staff in these four states reached out to local communities to collect the items on children’s wish lists so that they would have gifts to open during the holidays. Information on the various states is below, including just a few of the special Holiday Heroes we’d like to recognize.
Over 5,300 children and teens received holiday gifts thanks to KVC Kansas’ Holiday Heroes including those served by family preservation, foster care and aftercare programs. Numerous businesses, organizations, families and individuals generously donated new toys, clothes, games, electronics, gift cards and more items on children’s wish lists.
KVC family support worker Jim McClintock asked his social media following on Twitter to help donate to teens in Topeka, KS. (Read more of his story in The Kansas City Star)
During a holiday party, American Family Insurance agent Zach Edwards asked his guests to bring holiday donations to children and teens in need. (See the post on Facebook)
Girl Scouts Troop #4197 gathered and donated gifts to give to children and teens in foster care. (Read the post on Facebook)
Generous community partners also brightened the holidays for children, adolescents and adults receiving psychiatric treatment at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital and KVC Wheatland Hospital. Several businesses and organizations donated toys, blankets, sports equipment and more to 98 children, youth and adults over the holidays.
163 children received holiday donations thanks to KVC Kentucky’s Holiday Heroes including those served by family preservation, foster care and behavioral health services. Gifts were donated by The Salvation Amry of Lexington, Total Quality Logistics and other private donors from across Kentucky.
Youth at Niles were treated to a holiday part with games, food and fun to help celebrate the season thanks to generous donors and volunteers! Many community members donated gifts and provided presents for the youth to open! Read the entire recap on the KVC Hospitals blog.
Generous individuals and organizations partnered with KVC Nebraska to provide gifts for more than 400 children and teens in Omaha, Lincoln and surrounding communities. These Holiday Heroes donated toys, games, electronics, clothing, gift cards and more! Read the entire recap on the KVC Nebraska blog.
The annual Bennington Moms Christmas Bash collected more than 20 gifts and raised $500 to purchase gifts for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who we serve in our Extended Family Homes.
Over 314 children in West Virginia received gifts this holiday season. Holiday Heroes donated toys, games, clothes, activity books and more for children and teens in foster care.
For many years Debbie and Scott Broom, along with members of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club Chapter 689, collected and donated toys and gifts for WV children in foster care. Thank you for always thinking of those KVC serves! (See the post on Facebook)
Thank you to all of our Holiday Heroes who selflessly gave holiday donations and brought smiles to the faces of so many children and teens!
It takes help from caring and supportive communities to strengthen vulnerable families and build resilience in children and adults who have experienced trauma. KVC offers several opportunities throughout the year for individuals, groups and organizations to help others in need. Read this blog to discover the best way you can give back to your community!