EL DORADO, Kan. (KSNW) – While some are still waiting on Thanksgiving to arrive, many are preparing to spread joy this Christmas.

The Family Initiative (TFI), a child welfare nonprofit, is hosting a Christmas Giving Tree to help provide gifts to hundreds of Kansas children in foster care.

“Holidays can be an especially difficult time for children in foster care. They are away from friends, family and everything they know during Christmas—a time focused on spending time with loved ones,” said TFI in a news release.

According to TFI Marketing Director Taylor Forrest, four siblings who had just been moved into foster care last year were surprised that they received any gifts.

“They thought that by being in foster care, that meant they didn’t get a Christmas. And so, really, these gifts make all the difference to these kids. you’re not just giving them a gift, you’re not just giving them an item. You’re giving them a gift of hope. you’re letting them know that somebody out there cares,” said Forrest.

This year’s sign-up sheet for Kansas and Nebraska consists of 595 children who need to have their wishlists sponsored. Only 10 of those children are located in Nebraska.

TFI currently serves children and families across the entire state of Kansas, but their offices are located in Topeka, Chanute, Emporia, Fort Scott, Garden City, Hutchinson, Independence, Iola, Kingman, Lawrence, Manhattan, Ottawa, Parsons, Phillipsburg, Pittsburg, Salina, Wellington, Wichita, and Winfield.

Giving a gift

If you would like to sign up to help make a child smile this Christmas, click here.

Once you have been assigned a gift, TFI asks that you drop it off at your designated TFI location, unwrapped, by Wednesday, Nov. 30, with the child’s initials and corresponding code.

Giving a donation

If you are unable to give a physical gift, you can always give the gift of a donation. TFI offers several options when it comes to donating:

  • Donate online
  • Send in a donation
  • Community Fundraising
  • Dillons Community Rewards
  • Amazon Smile
  • And more!

Giving your time

Looking to donate your time? TFI is always looking for volunteers! Click here to learn more.

Learn more

To learn more about how you can make a difference in a child’s life, head to TFI’s website or call 833-7FOSTER.