This holiday season, consider sponsoring a child in foster care in the community.

2020 has been a challenging year for many people across the nation. With the holiday season here and Christmas around the corner, the DeKalb County Department of Human Resources is seeking sponsors to help provide Christmas for children in foster care.

DHR Quality Assurance Coordinator Angela Bell said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the amount of community support foster children usually receive for the holiday season.

“There has been a decline in individuals contacting the department of sponsorships,” she said.

Bell said currently, in DeKalb County, they have 98 children in foster care.

Each Christmas, a wish list is provided for each child, and funds from sponsorships and donations are used to purchase items on those lists.

“The children fill out a wish list, and those lists are given to sponsors,” she said. “These will be the children’s “Santa” gifts under the tree Christmas morning.”

Although the holidays are tough on many families in the U.S, Bell said they are often extremely hard for children who are in foster care.

“For families who are not fostering, providing gifts and support are other avenues they can take to help children in need,” she said.

The amount it takes to sponsor a child is $150 per child. Bell said they ask that sponsors spend the minimum amount and each child receives equal amounts.

“We would like to make these childrens’ Christmas bright,” said Bell. “Helping add a smile to a child’s face during the holiday season is a gift without a price tag.”

DHR also accepts monetary donations to help sponsor a child or to add to their sponsorship if needed.

Check donations can be mailed to DHR at P.O. Box 680049 Fort Payne, Alabama 35968, with Christmas for kids written on the memo line.

They can also be dropped off at the DHR Fort Payne office located at 2301 Briarwood Ave. SW.

Aside from Christmas sponsorships, there are other ways to help foster children in the community.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were not able to hold a diaper and wipe drive this past spring as we have done in previous years,” said Bell. “We would appreciate diapers of all sizes, wipes and pull-ups.”

She said they need fully stocked diaper bags because children sometimes enter care in emergencies and need those items readily available to them.

For those interested in sponsoring children or a family, and for those families interested in becoming a foster home for the children of DeKalb County, contact DHR at 256-844-2700.

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