Please join us in our effort to provide Christmas gifts for adolescent children in foster care in Newberry County!! You may bring gifts you’d like to contribute to the Church. If you prefer, you can contribute money for gift purchases or for gift cards. Use the “SUPPORT CMUU” page on this website to contribute through PayPal. We hope to have a gift card included with every gift bag. The foster care case workers in Newberry County will take the children to spend the cards.
Some Background: For several years now, Clayton has contributed gift bags filled with backpacks and other gifts for foster kids (those who are not in their homes for whatever reasons). Newberry County has a LOT of children in foster care.
Foster kids are often in shelters. They are often taken out of their homes with just the clothes (or pajamas) on their backs, sometimes without even shoes. The DSS workers keep donated (usually used) clothes that may or may not fit!
Why backpacks? A member of CMUU worked on a project evaluation where they saw children in a shelter who had been given some clothes (as they had come with none) and carried them with them in plastic garbage bags given to them by the shelter. We feel that the backpack is their own territory, something where they can protect things that are special to them. DSS workers say that backpacks are a good idea because the kids often have to move around.
Donated gifts for this project cannot be wrapped – only put in bags. In 2018 we provided Christmas gifts for 14 teenage foster children (8 boys and 6 girls). DSS case workers said that bead jewelry kits are popular with many girls because they can make friendship bracelets to remember friends when they are moved around and use the beads to decorate their backpacks. These are popular and good therapy for them as they can individualize them. They need clothes so we give gift cards to Walmart. DSS workers will take them on supervised shopping trips after Christmas and so that they can buy their own clothes or shoes.
Otherwise, little things that you think of and are appropriate for teenagers are welcomed. The primary rule at DSS is that no used things are accepted for Christmas gifts (although DSS does accept them for their backup supplies). Thanks in advance.