Every year, we hold a holiday party for all of our foster children. This is the chance for little ones and teens alike to experience the joy of the holidays — something they may have missed growing up in difficult situations. Everyone comes together for music, games, food and gifts. It is incredible to see the smiles on their faces as they open their presents filled with dolls, games, Ipods, phones, etc. I love to hear their squeals of joy, especially the wide-eyed little ones when they see Santa.
This year, as in past years, the employees of Xerox helped with our celebration and donated gifts for the children. Also, Fifth Third Bank, the Health Alliance (Barrett Breast Imaging Center), Rockquest Climbing Center, Mariemont Community Church, the Foster Child Enrichment Council and the Kindergarten School donated items or money to make the event happen. In addition, the Coalition of Care, a group of local churches that has committed itself to our foster children and has done more for them than I could ever publicly recognize, worked with Montgomery Community Church to host the event and donated gifts.
In addition to the party, the Foster Child Enrichment Council makes sure all of the children who are involved with us receive a special gift for the holidays. Games, books, bikes — each child gets something from their wish list. This year, in addition to the FCEC, Our Lady of Rosary St. Mathias Church, Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley Co. LPA, Xavier University and our own Job and Family Services employees donated to make the holidays special for our children. I cannot thank them enough.
Spending any time away from your family — or not even really having a family — is traumatic for a child. The holidays are especially lonely. But because of the generous hearts of people throughout this community, our children get a few moments of joy each holiday season.