Organizers for the 22nd annual ELF, Inc. Foster Kids Christmas Party are seeking sponsors to help provide gifts and other items to foster children across the region.
The party, which will take place on Dec. 11, hosts foster children, ages newborn to 19 years old, that are under the care of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. For this year’s event, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be a drive-through event in order to allow the children and their foster families to receive gift baskets and other donations while remaining in their vehicles.
Organizer Leigha Stewart said that they will still sponsor the children as they do every year, and they want to try to keep the party as normal as possible while still taking precautions.
“We are still going to be sponsoring the children as we would normally, but this year, where we can’t have the party where we always have food and things for the families, we’re going to have the addition of food baskets for the families,” Stewart said. “That way, it’s still kind of normal, in a sense.”
Stewart said that party organizers expect to host 100-150 children this year, which is more children than they have hosted in previous years. She said that the children come from across the region in counties like Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin and Magoffin, and the increase in children at the party is directly correlated to the increase in domestic cases that have been reported during the pandemic.
“We’re expecting a larger amount than we’ve had in past years,” Stewart said, referring to the number of children being hosted at their annual event. “With COVID and the impact that’s had on our region especially, businesses that were not closed before are now closed, and families that never struggled before are now struggling. These kids come from all walks of life, and there are so many more children in care this year, especially, than in typical years.”
Party organizers are currently seeking sponsors for the children. Stewart said that sponsors typically sponsor a child, and they purchase some, if not all, of the items that a child puts on their list of potential gifts and items they would want.
“Sponsors typically purchase things from their list,” she said, referring to the children. “We always try to make sure that they get new clothes, a coat, shoes and toys, some of what they put on their lists or something similar, because most of these kids come into care with nothing — just simply the clothes on their back and that’s it. This year’s going to be different, where we won’t actually be able to be in the building and altogether, but we still want them to be able to have a great Christmas, despite the circumstances surrounding their placement.”
To sponsor a child or donate monetary or supplemental gifts, contact Leigha Danielle Stewart through her Facebook account or call Tammy Skeens at the Tammy Skeens Law Office, (606) 437-6218.