Toys under a Christmas tree

Take a deep breath, many of us are getting through this year with our feet still on the ground, albeit in our living room’s makeshift office.

That’s no big surprise coming from Free Press fans, a dedicated and determined bunch of community-minded progressives who are passionate about their careers.

Now consider our community’s growing foster kid population, you might think it can’t get any worse for a child to not be with their parents on Christmas.

But the reality is, Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) for decades through its Holiday Wish programhas gone above and beyond to make these kids have the best holiday season possible. And if it wasn’t for FCCS some of these kids in group homes waiting for placement to a foster home would have no Christmas at all.

The FCCS “Children’s Fund” donation portal is here. Pictured above are gifts purchased this year for FCCS foster kids.

The Free Press has been to the annual FCCS Christmas party for the hundreds of foster children under their care at its office in South Franklinton. Rows of mountain bikes, piles of gifts, bags of toys, and the most realistic Santa and Mrs. Clause you can imagine. And there, the foster kids spend quality time with their biological parents as FCCS seeks to reunite them.

This year the party was cancelled. As if! So FCCS is not accepting any toy donations. Indeed, one anonymous donor has for years sent dozens of new mountain bikes to the party.

Instead, FCCS is accepting cash donations for their kids.

What’s more, FCCS is in need of culturally specific gifts for their African-American kids, especially young girls. That’s why Black Girl Magic was created as a culturally specific gift program under Holiday Wish to assist in receiving gifts for our children of color specifically girls between the ages of 8 and 11 that reflect their diversity and celebrate their uniqueness.

Again, FCCS says they have nearly 6,000 kids to look after, whether in group homes, living with relatives or foster parents. In many cases, these foster parents pay out of their own pocket at Christmas time for their foster kids, and some of these homes have five to ten kids each.

“Every child looks forward to the joy and magic of the holiday season,” stated a recent FCCS press release. “But without the help of the community, more than 6,000 children who have experienced abuse, neglect or other difficult home conditions will have no one to provide their holiday gifts. You can make a difference for children in our community by supporting Children Services’ Holiday Wish.”

Again, FCCS for 2020 is only accepting cash donations. For more information, click here, call Holiday Wish at (614) 275-2525 or click here to email us.