During the 2015 holiday season, hundreds of Holiday Heroes partnered with KVC Health Systems’ local subsidiaries across the U.S. to give gifts to over 6,000 children and teens involved in the child welfare system or receiving behavioral healthcare. These Holiday Heroes are individuals, businesses, churches and other organizations who donated toys, clothing, gift cards and other presents for vulnerable youth to help make their Christmas or other holiday traditions special.
KVC is a nonprofit organization working to show that people matter by providing support to children and families. Some of its primary services include:
- keeping families safely together by providing in-home support (family preservation),
- safely reuniting families who have had children removed from the home (reintegration),
- providing out-of-home care by partnering with relatives, other kin and foster families,
- matching youth with adoptive families,
- providing aftercare to families that have recently reintegrated or adopted, and
- providing 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 rallying around them during the holidays.
Since KVC provides family services on behalf 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 presents, gift cards and monetary donations so children receiving services would have gifts to open. The number of children who received gifts is broken down by state below.
Over 5,000 children received holiday gifts through KVC Kansas’ Holiday Heroes program including those served by family preservation, foster care and aftercare programs. See some of the businesses and community partners who helped provide gifts on the KVC Kansas Facebook page (or visit the KVC Kansas website).
Children, adolescents and adults receiving psychiatric treatment at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital and KVC Wheatland Hospital enjoyed the generosity of community partners who provided gifts and parties to make their holidays special. As one example of the generosity at our hospitals, community partners provided gifts for 64 children and 12 adult clients at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital.
305 children and youth in foster care in Omaha, Lincoln and surrounding communities received holiday gifts from individuals and company donors as well as through KVC Nebraska’s partnership with Toys for Tots and Pen Fed Credit Union. Learn more on the KVC Nebraska Facebook page and visit the KVC Nebraska website.
573 children received holiday gifts. Many received their gifts at the annual KVC Resource Family Conference. Read more in this article on the KVC West Virginia website or find KVC West Virginia on Facebook.
Thank you to each individual and organization that gave hope and resources to families in need this holiday season!