Christmas time is a time when I especially think of the foster children. Life can be very difficult for children who are placed in foster care. Children feel lonely, unloved and depressed placed in a home with strangers, especially at Christmas time.
Drugs, abuse, neglect and bad parenting are some of the reasons the children are taken out of their homes. It’s not the child’s fault. They are innocent victims.
But there is a wonderful organization called the Lancaster County Outreach Program, an initiative of Lancaster Partners for Youth Foundation. This exists to enhance the lives of the abused and neglected children through a coordinated community response.
This program is one of four in the United States. It is under the supervision of the Department of Social Services. It’s a simple process: when a DSS case worker has a client in need, the case worker confirms the wants and notifies the project coordinator, Donna Bender. She in turn utilizes the network of nearly 200 community partners asking them for assistance in finding the requested item.
In 2010 the Outreach Program provided 2,290 items, which included 51 beds, 73 children’s birthday cards with a $10 gift certificate enclosed, school supplies for 169 children, and $2,240 raised to send 13 children to camp. Oh, and the program provided 265 children with Christmas gifts.
The stats for this year will be much greater.
Please remember this Outreach Program covers all of Lancaster County, including Indian Land. If you would like to provide a gift or give a donation, contact Donna Bender, Lancaster County Outreach Project Director, at 803-289-4438, or email@example.com.
Thank you to everyone for their support of this wonderful program. A special thank you to the Sun City residents for their generosity and always giving from the heart.
Have a comment or story idea for Pat? Email her firstname.lastname@example.org.