The Foster Network helping to give joy this Christmas

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 7:56 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The Foster Network in Sioux Falls is looking for volunteers to help sort gifts this week to make sure children in the foster care system can celebrate Christmas.

This is the third year the nonprofit has done the Give Joy this Christmas program that collects a variety of gifts for children in foster care.

Executive director for The Foster Network, Holly Christensen, says giving gifts is just one way to help support families during the holidays.

“The goal of it is to provide the foster families with the opportunity to focus on meeting the child’s emotional need and physical needs during the holiday season while they’re separated from their families,” said Holly Christensen, The Foster Network executive director.

Helping to give kids a traditional Christmas experience.

“We have a form the families fill out and they let us know what the kid likes and what kind of items they’re wanting for Christmas and then we have an idea of option they can pick from and then they can also list things outside that they would like for Christmas,” said Christensen.

And with inflation the need for volunteers has grown.

Chelsea Jorgensen is a volunteer with the program and says her experience with the Foster Network got her involved in the cause.

“They supplied us with everything we needed for three babies so we purchased nothing. Cribs, clothes, bouncy chairs, highchairs anything you need for babies they had,” said Chelsea Jorgensen, volunteer.

She says programs like this help to ease the weight for foster parents.

“Even if you can technically afford things, it’s just one thing that makes being a foster parent a little bit easier and a little less stressful,’ said Jorgensen.

For some foster kids, these gifts can go a long way.

“Some of the kids that are in care haven’t experienced Christmas and so being able to provide that to them and give them the opportunity to fill that joy is critical in their life,’ said Christensen.

To help sort gifts this week or volunteer in the future you can follow the link at About 1 — The Foster Network