By Grace Hirdes
Photos Courtesy of Heartland for Children
For a lot of children, the Holidays are very difficult. Holidays typically mean family time over a nice family dinner or gathering at a grandparent’s home, but for reasons beyond their control some children cannot be with family on the holidays. That’s why 16 years ago the Rudolph Round-up started with the purpose of making children’s holidays merry and bright and reminding foster parents that they are a part of a community that cares and supports them as foster parents are busy all year helping the children in their care and making life as normal as possible. By donating to Rudolph’s Round-up, the community can acknowledge their sacrifice and step up to help the parents give the children in their care a holly-jolly Christmas.
When they first started, the Rudolph Round-up reached about 400 children, they have grown and are now about to reach about 1700 children. The program prioritizes children who are out of the care of their parents. Once they’ve met that need, they look into children who have recently gone home but still need care, and try to help meet their holiday needs as well.
There are several ways to get involved!
- Sponsor a child for the holidays
- Ask for a specific child’s wish list and go on a shopping trip to find the things they need for a merry and bright holiday.
- Sponsor a toy drive for new toys
Instead of doing gift exchanges, you can have everyone in the office bring gifts for the toy drive. You can also try having everyone bring a toy as an entry fee to your holiday party, or be creative and find a new way to host your own toy drive.
Make a monetary donation which will be used to purchase gifts
There are always gifts that are needed but not donated. In this case, financial donations allow Heartland for Children to shop for the specific gifts requested by the children.
Help spread the “news”
You can share with friends and family about the need for holiday gifts for children in foster care. You can also stay up-to-date on how the drive is going by following them on social media & sharing their posts with your social media followers.
Rudolph needs your help with holiday gifts for children in the foster care system. Won’t you consider partnering with Heartland for Children to be “Rudolph Champions” and help provide holiday memories for over 1500 local children who are living in foster homes, placed with relatives or non-relatives, and/or living in group homes away from their family & friends?
When you support the Rudolph Roundup, you’re giving to children who have experienced trauma. The fact that they are in care, says enough. Versuch Simmons, Community Engagement Specialist, tells us that “When kids wake up Christmas morning, they are reminded that they are loved and cared for. It gives them a sense of hope, love and pride.”