The holidays are a popular time for friends and family to gather, celebrate and reflect. On Thanksgiving, we gathered around the table and gave thanks for the blessings in our lives. In December, we observe Christmas, Hanukkah and other multicultural holidays that celebrate our beliefs. And as we count down the hours on December 31, we reflect on the past year and look forward to the goals we hope to achieve in the new year.
For over 400,000 U.S. children in foster care, enjoying holiday traditions with family may not be possible, and making plans for the future may be difficult. Children who find themselves in foster care have often been removed from their parents because they have experienced abuse or neglect and it is unsafe to remain in their homes. Their families are going through a crisis, and foster care is a safe place 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.
It takes help from caring and supportive communities to strengthen families and build resilience in children and adults who have experienced trauma. You can give the gift of family to a child or teen in foster care during the holidays and throughout the year in several different ways:
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.
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 keep 7,036 families safely together; support 6,869 children in KVC foster families; find loving, forever families for 454 children through adoption; provide in-home services to 28,182 children and adults; and treat 2,869 youth and adults at our psychiatric hospitals. Read more about our results in our 2018 Annual Report and consider sponsoring one of these events in 2019.
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 foster care, contact your local KVC office to see how you can help.
You can also get involved by joining one of our boards and helping support and promote our mission of enhancing the lives of children and families. Board members do this by attending monthly meetings, planning and hosting third-party fundraisers, serving on event committees, and helping to raise awareness about KVC its important work with children and families.
Make a Donation
There are several different ways you can donate to KVC and show a child or teen that they matter: sponsor or attend one of our fundraising events, sign up for our Everyday Hero monthly giving program, donate school supplies or holiday gifts, or make a monetary donation. No matter what you give, your gift makes a difference.
Like we said, there are over 400,000 U.S. children in foster care, and 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. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share our posts.