TAYLOR COUNTY— Many times, when children are removed from their home and placed into either a facility or with a foster family, they are unable to take their belongings.
The friendly folks at PATCH realize being in an unfamiliar place can often cause additional stress, anxiety or sadness for the children.
To help comfort children who have been placed into the foster care system over the holidays, the PATCH Coalition of Taylor County will be acquiring blankets to be passed out in hopes of helping the youths cope with their situation, through their Warming Hearts in Foster Care Project.
“They don’t often get to take their personal possessions to these places, and we think that a blanket of their own might help them feel a bit more at home and comfortable,” shared PATCH Coalition member Alicia Lyons.
She shared that by providing a quality blanket or throw for the children, they are being provided with a tangible item that will provide comfort and warmth when they need it most.
Lyons revealed that currently, there are approximately 143 children who have been placed away from their parents. Unfortunately, that number will continue to grow.
“The DHHR office workers are trying to take care of 43 of those children, but that means there are still 100 youths that will need a piece of comfort over the holidays,” she said.
She said that it is important to remind children in this kind of situation that they are not forgotten during the holidays, and she is asking for the community’s help to ensure that each child receives a blanket.
The process is simple. Purchase a gender neutral blanket, place it in a giftbag with some tissue paper and drop it off.
“If you can donate a new throw or blanket, please drop it off at the DHHR building, located across from Jerry’s Restaurant, by December 2,” Lyons voiced.
She revealed that on that date, Child Protective Service workers will start their monthly visits with the kids, and the organization would like the blankets to be ready to be passed out at that time.
Lyons encourages those who want to purchase the cozy comforters to attach a sealed Christmas card for each child, complete with best wishes.
“It will add a special personalization to the gift for the child. You don’t even have to sign your name,” she said. “You could provide season’s greetings and goodwill to mankind!”
She said that with Black Friday right around the corner, shoppers will have the perfect opportunity to purchase a much-needed pick-me-up at a great price.
“This would be a wonderful project for churches, clubs, organizations and community groups,” shared Lyons. “It is a small gesture, but it will have a big impact on a child who might find themselves in a scary and difficult situation.”