More than 5,000 children in Central Texas will have something to open Christmas morning thanks to Holiday Wishes, a program of the non-profit Partnerships for Children.
"It's easy to look the other way or not understand it until they meet a child in foster care. And these are children just like any other children. They are in care because of abuse and neglect and they are just as deserving as any other child," said Megan Ransom of Partnerships for Children.
But children in the care of CPS can sometimes feel uncertain during the holiday season, wondering if Santa will remember them.
"Kids come into the system and a lot of times they don't have anything. Just the clothes they're wearing. It's so important for groups like Partnerships for Children to help fill that void," said DFPS spokesperson Lisa Block.
In the Holiday Wishes program, each child gives three wishes to their caseworker and they submit the list. The children are matched with donors in the community to fill the wishes and the caseworkers are able to deliver the presents.
"It all goes back to making these kids feel like every other child so their gifts go right under the tree like Santa brought them," said Marcus Cantu of Partnerships for Children.
Volunteers have been tagging and sorting the gifts already donated to make sure each child receives what they wished for. It's not too late to sponsor a specific child, donate toys or give a monetary donation that will be used to fill the wishes that haven't been granted yet.
"Once you see the kids and you know the need. It's so hard not to be affected by that and the fact that these are just children just like any other," said Ransom.
If you'd like to learn more about Holiday Wishes, just visit the website. "Forever Families" airs every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on Central Texas News Now.
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