The holidays can be really tough for kids in foster care. Many of them spend their holiday, not in the comforts of the only “home” they’ve ever known. For them, this warm, loving, comforting place does not exist. These children have been removed from their homes because they are victims of abuse and neglect. They have been placed in the child welfare system and will spend the holidays surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar place.
Child Advocates works diligently during the month of December hosting a Holiday Gift Drive in hopes to make the holidays a little brighter for children in foster care. Over the holiday season, Child Advocates teamed up with Foster Fairies Aleksandra Pesalj and Eugene Akers, Center Township Trustee, to make sure children who are in the child welfare system experienced a holiday they will never forget. With the help of Foster Fairies from the Indianapolis community, we filled Christmas wish lists for over 2,500 children in the child welfare system.
Aleksandra Pesalj is a former CASA Volunteer with Child Advocates and still a close friend of the agency. She works tirelessly during the holiday season and
throughout the year with Child Advocate to make sure thousands of children who are in the child welfare system have wishes made and needs to be met. This might be in the form of recruiting a sponsor to purchase a laptop for a foster child going to college, an older youth transitioning into a new home and helping him furnish it, or even helping youth who is struggling with rent. She works together with Child Advocates staff and community to make sure foster youth know they are valued and cared for.
Seven years ago, during the Holiday Gift Drive, we were able to sponsor 9 children in total. This year, with the help of Aleks and her Foster Fairies, that number has reached over 2,500. It’s an incredible thing to witness and be part of.
Child Advocates’ CEO Cindy Booth comments, “We are seeing first-hand what our community is doing for our children and it’s remarkable. We are so thankful to everyone for their generosity and help in making the holidays a little brighter for foster children.”
It’s take a great team, a lot of long hours, and hard work to get over 2,500 gifts into Santa’s workshop and out to children in our community. We’re so grateful toeveryone who helped along the way!