Donations needed to help make Christmas merry for kids

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) -After a four day shopping weekend, many of us picked out presents for loved ones.  There are thousands of children in foster care.  Some are in individual homes while others are in shelters.  The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge depends on donations year round but especially during the holidays.

"We want every child to have a gift," said shelter director Lisa Hufstedler.

12 children live at the children's shelter.

"We have boys we have girls that are of all ages.  You never know when they're going to be taken from a home," said Hufstedler.

The residents who live inside these the shelter are constantly changing.  Their youngest right now is only three months old.

"They want presents and they need those presents to help them just to have what the everyday child has," said Hufstedler.

Hufstedler said The Children's Shelter receives $25 a day from the state per child but that money covers what the kids need not what they want.

"If anyone can and wants to help out these children please make a donation to the kids," said Hufstedler.

There are already signs of the holiday season popping up around the shelter.

"That is all the talk at school.  It's the talk with the kids here at the shelter.  They love Christmas," said Hufstedler.

Each of the residents is here because this is where they were placed by the state.  While they're living in this new home their caretakers try to make them feel as welcome as possible. Holiday's like Christmas are a time for families to celebrate and Hufstedler said the kids need something to hold onto while they're there.

"They've been taken out of their homes but more so, they've been taken out of their schools.  They've been taken out of their surroundings where they feel comfortable," said Hufstedler.

If you want to help The Children's Shelter provide presents for the kids you can send donations or gifts to:
The Children's Shelter
107 Benson Drive
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476

You can also contact the shelter at 870-886-5191.  There are six boys at the shelter ages 10, 9, 6, 5, 3, and 3 months.  There are six girls at the shelter ages 15, 15, 9, 8, 2, and 19 months.

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