Hundreds of foster kids still need Christmas

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 12/03/2020, 11:27 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) “At this point being that it’s early December, we’ve got to get this going ASAP.” Christmas, like everything else, is shaping up to be a little different in Green Country this year. For Fostering Connections, a Tulsa non-profit helping foster kids throughout Oklahoma, the difference is providing gifts to hundreds of more children than last year. “I don’t know if its necessarily due to COVID, but the need has increased,” Community Engagement Director Evan Taylor said. “Last year we found gifts for over 1400 children. And this year we’re looking closer to 2000, maybe higher than that. We’re still receiving forms every day. So just trying to match them up with sponsors is the biggest challenge at the moment.” But the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on the way donations are given, and received. Taylor told VNN due to the virus, the non-profit’s annual program “Fostering Joy” has moved completely online. “Which sounds easier than it actually is,” Taylor said. “Providing these forms, and doing Google forms, one for wish lists and one for sponsors. A sponsor can say I want a two-year-old and so we’ll try to find a two-year-old girl.” Fostering Joy provides about $75 worth of toys to each foster child every winter. This year, the program has expanded from Tulsa to Okmulgee, Muskogee and Comanche counties. Taylor said a monetary donation with no specified type of foster child recipient is their favorite to match, allowing them to easily fill in gift gaps. As fate would have it, due to many people working from home, money has been the sponsor favorite of 2020, over purchasing actual gifts. On the downside, pandemic life has taken a swipe at the organization’s gift receipts overall. Individual contribution has grown, but corporate involvement has dropped. Office-wide gift drives don’t happen in empty offices. “Over 400 children still needing sponsorships,” Taylor said. “We’re always kind of living in a panic. But just really high hopes that the community will come together as they’ve done in the past and help us out. And help these children out.” You can help gift foster children this Christmas by texting “FosteringJoy” (one word) to 44321. Operations are run out of a space on East 51st Street in Tulsa that was donated to the organization for November and December 2020. In addition to their Christmas program, Fostering Connections also runs The Foster Family Resource Center year-round, which allows foster children to shop for items like clothing and bedding for free. Find more information at


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