The holiday season is officially upon us. With Thanksgiving a week away, and Christmas just around the corner, a foster care shelter in Killeen needs your help to make sure kids have everything they want and need this holiday season.
Staff at The Garden of Hope, an emergency shelter for kids in the foster care system, often fill in as mom and dad. But, around the holidays they are Santa too.
Jasmin Spain, a caseworker at the Garden of Hope, knows the hardships these children face every day.
Spain said, "Some kids never received presents some kids never had a Thanksgiving meal. Holidays are very triggering time are a very hard time for some of our kids."
Along with the other case managers, volunteers, and staff, Spain said they help kids in their care turn their trauma into triumph. She said community support can be life-changing.
"We have had kids that have come in that have been completely off the chain or really hard to work with and by the end of their time here they are a completely different child, just because the basic need of love was met by caregivers and the community," said Spain. "A kid can never be loved by too many people every person has an impact no matter how big or small."
Director of operations, Tina Captio, said they are looking for people to sponsor kids for Christmas this year.
"If you want to sponsor a specific child on December 13 we will send you the gender and age of a child so that we know that is a child that will be in the shelter on Christmas Day," said Captio.
Captio said the non-profit is also always collecting items that all kids like.
"What we try to do is collect items that will be good for almost all the kids' board games all the kids love board games," said Captio.
However, if you can't sponsor a child or donate, Captio says you can always donate your time, anything you give will be appreciated.
Captio said, "That's how these kids are going to wake up Christmas morning and have Christmas, and the activities we have kids here that are here 24 hours a day, and when they are out for break, they are here 24 hours a day for days on end."
While the holiday season is a priority right now, The Garden of Hope works year-round to throw kids birthday parties and celebrate every other holiday in between. They say community support is always appreciated.
"To have so many people coming in and volunteering and cooking the meals or donating presents or sponsoring a child is amazing it’s life-changing," said Spain.
For more information about how you can sponsor a child, donate, or volunteer click here.