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  • Writer's pictureFostering Christmas Team

‘Fostering Love’: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our 2022 Drive

Boy holding presents and smiling wide

Everyone at Fostering Christmas hopes you already know what an incredible difference your contributions make to the lives of Treasure Valley foster children. But since protecting these kids’ privacy is of the utmost importance, we can’t share their individual stories and photos of their faces on Christmas morning. Fortunately, we have access to the next best thing — the people who work on these children’s behalf daily.

We recently spoke with a program specialist technician at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Mindy notes that she primarily works “behind the scenes” and considers herself “a small part of a very big picture for Child and Family Services.” Nevertheless, she has much greater insight into foster children’s struggles than the average citizen. She was also a part of our 2022 Fostering Christmas gift drive.

It means so much to have made this young man’s Christmas wishes come true.

“I was blown away when I went to pick up some of the gifts at [the] staging office,” Mindy said, comparing the “rows and rows” of presents to Santa’s Workshop. She was touched by the many gifts lining the hallway, “from a soft and cuddly bear to a shiny new bicycle, to an outdoor barbecue for one of our older kids transitioning out-of-care.” It was heartwarming for her to see how much our community cares.

Most of the children Mindy supports in her work are teenagers who live in congregate care settings. They often have complex behavioral and clinical needs that prevent them from living in a traditional foster home. They have faced some of the most extreme challenges in their short lives, and a residential treatment facility ensures they have access to trauma-informed care. These youth are some of those who need our compassion the most.

Mindy had the chance to witness one teen’s reaction to receiving an envelope filled with gift cards. She could almost see his mind racing with ideas about using this rare luxury. “His words were few, but his expression conveyed an uncontained excitement as he exclaimed ‘YES!’” Mindy told us. “His face lit up — even his eyes were smiling.”

It means so much to have made this young man’s Christmas wishes come true. “This season can be difficult for many,” Mindy explains. “Fostering Christmas selflessly serves our community [by] providing kids, with often the greatest needs, comfort and care through … tangible gifts that bring some added excitement and joy.”

We thank Mindy for sharing her story and giving us some insight into what happens after the gifts you provide leave our office. “I would encourage anyone who has a heart to serve or give … to Fostering Christmas,” she concluded. “You will also be fostering love.”

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