A faith-based nonprofit is desperately seeking help fulfilling the Christmas gift lists of children in the state's foster care system.
Lisa Feist, executive director of OK Foster Wishes, said the wish lists of 1,175 children are still waiting to be selected by community members.
She said the children who have provided their Christmas wish lists are those who have been removed from their homes for various reasons and placed in the state Department of Human Services foster care program.
Feist said these children are going through a stressful and emotional period and the Christmas wish list program seeks to surround them with the benevolent, hopeful spirit of the holiday season.
“Here, kids are having the most difficult Christmas of their life — an uncertain Christmas — and on top of all that, they think Santa forgot about them,” Feist said.
She said wish lists are available on the OK Foster Wishes website. Each wish list includes a child's first name and his age, clothing size and two toys he or she would like.
Feist said the nonprofit's goal is to get the wish lists claimed and the gift items dropped off at various metro-area locations, including Buy 4 Less stores and Oklahoma Employee Credit Union branches, by Sunday.
She said this will give volunteers time to sort through and distribute all of the gifts.
Feist said some people prefer to give monetary donations and they may do so on the organization's website. She said donations of $75 per child typically allow volunteer shoppers to go out and purchase the gifts on a child's wish list.
Feist said she is encouraging members of the community to search their hearts for ways they can help children in foster care.
“Not everybody is called to foster and adopt, but everybody is called to care for the orphans,” she said.
“You don't get anything back except to serve God's kids.”
Here, kids are having the most difficult Christmas of their life — an uncertain Christmas — and on top of all that, they think Santa forgot about them.”
executive director of OK Foster Wishes