Threads is run by Foster Parents and we know how hard Christmas can be. You end up taking one more kid then you meant to (or three more, but who’s counting). You say yes to a placement right before Christmas …. it can make providing gifts for all your kids hard!
When my sons were still in foster care our agency tried to help. My kids got a lot of gifts but there were all pretty generic age-appropriate gifts … at their age that meant basketballs, axe products, and sports shirts. My one son hates sports! While we appreciated the help it didn’t normalize Christmas where parents buy gifts carefully lovingly selected for their child.
We want to make Christmas easier for foster parents but we also want to honor the idea that foster parents are PARENTS who know and love their foster child and are the best people to choose a gift the child will love.
Our Christmas program invites foster parents to make a list of ‘wishes’ for their foster child. These wishes are then written onto tags and placed on Angel Trees. In 2018, our first year running at Christmas Program we had 16 local businesses and groups step up and offer to host an Angel Tree. In addition to the Angel Trees we also seek sponsors for children in Foster Care. We were pleasantly surprised to received requests from 52 individuals to sponsor children in Foster Care for Christmas. The generosity of donors allowed us to provide gifts to 215 children in foster care.
Christmas gifts are given directly to Foster Parents. These are designed to be ‘under the tree’ gifts allowing the Foster Parent to give these gifts to their child according to their own families traditions. We hope that this model offers Foster Parents some help with the stressful holiday season while also emphasizing that Christmas is a family holiday and should look as close to a ‘regular’ family holiday as possible for children in Foster Care.
You can read about our 2018 Angel Tree program here .
If you would like to be notified when the 2019 program opens click here.
Thank you to our 2018 Angel Tree Site Hosts:
LaSalle Academy, Reading Hospital Emergency Department, Gold’s Gym, Good Life Financial, Seidel Hyundai, Met Ed, Penske, Berks Gymnastics, Reading Orthodontic Group, Berk’s Catholic High School, MAK Nail Salon, Elverson Gym, Wyomissing Library