OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Bryan County office of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) held a Christmas Party for 75 foster children and their families on Dec. 8, 2012. The event was held at the Durant County Elks Lodge #1963 - free of charge - and the Elk's Ladies Auxiliary provided the holiday decorations.
“First United Bank set up an angel tree for all of our foster children and their employees and customers provided gifts from the children’s wish lists,” says Lori Gray, OKDHS Social Services Specialist. “OK Foster Wishes and the OKDHS Office of Volunteerism also provided gifts. Our children were provided with everything from clothing, to toys, games, coats, gift cards, and bedding." OK Foster Wishes (link opens in new window) is a volunteer, faith-based organization that helps provide Christmas gifts each year to thousands of foster children in Oklahoma.
Other community partners also helped make the Christmas Party a success: Robert Heinrich and Jared Hartman catered the meal at no expense; Carolyn Hendrickson made 200 sugar cookies; Jan Wren provided home-made frosting and helped the children decorate their cookies; Carissa Mason and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints provided fruit and candy bags to all of the children; Bob McAdoo was Santa’s special helper and Melody McAdoo photographed the children with Santa; the Center for Psychological Development donated money; Jim and Joni Bliffen and the Community Christian Church donated gloves for the children to decorate during the party; and Dana Meyer with Picture It OK!, and her assistant, Tom Liwai provided a mobile photo booth with unlimited color and black and white prints and props.
“We are so grateful for the love and support shown by our community this Christmas Season,” says Gray. “Many people have volunteered their time and resources and have made this a brighter Christmas for each of our foster children. On behalf of the Bryan County Oklahoma Department of Human Services, thank you all very much.”