One of the unfortunate realities of the COVID-19 pandemic is that far fewer fewer kids in need will receive presents under the tree this holiday season.
Toy donations are down as many agencies and businesses have not been able to hold their big annual toy drives in person. Some people cannot afford to donate because they’ve lost their jobs.
But this Christmas in Delaware will bring love and joy for hundreds of foster children, thanks to the generosity of all who contributed to the 10th annual Kind to Kids Holiday Party and Toy Giveaway.
The foundation held a drive-through event Dec. 12 for foster families in New Castle and Dec. 13 in Milford for Kent and Sussex foster families.
Foster parents are at the core of the Christmas giveaway success. “We can’t appreciate them enough for what they do. We can’t do it without them,” said Joanne Testerman with the Delaware Division of Family Services. “Everyone loves coming together to let the kids know that they’re important. We love sharing the holidays with them.”
“We don’t want one child to go without. Families are struggling right now, and this is a really helpful thing that we can do for our foster families,” said Caroline Jones, founder and president of Kind to Kids Foundation. “We got creative this year, offering a way to donate funds or toys online. It was important for many of our donors to purchase gifts to know their donation was going straight to children.”
Moms, dads and every child in the family – foster and biological – attended, and many decorated their cars from bumper to bumper with Christmas tinsel, holiday messages and even rooftop inflatables.
In New Castle, 60 families who foster one or more children came to the event, and 30 families attended in Milford
Foundation organizers extend thanks to the Delaware Division of Family Services, Santa and Mrs. Claus, First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, Bay to Beach Builders, and all groups that set up their own stations along the drive-through, distributing trays of cookies, goodie bags, snacks, donuts, gifts and good cheer.
Because families preregistered, Kind to Kids was able to give age-appropriate, preassembled gifts tailored for each child. And all children received a bright-red sack of gifts, which included a mix of toys, books, electronic items, gloves, hats, gift cards and cuddly teddy bears.
“Thank you to everyone who donated online to this incredibly special event for our children. Your support enabled us to bring joy and happiness to our community’s most vulnerable children during a difficult time,” said Jones.