Photo illustration by What's Up Prince William
Exchanging gifts is a tradition that many look forward to during the holidays.
The Prince William County Department of Social Services is making sure that those in foster care programs aren’t missing out.
Presents and gift cards are being collected through the annual Holiday Project. The goal is for recipients to enjoy the season.
“I’m passionate about the Holiday Project, because it allows our children in foster care to experience a word that I have come to love … and that’s ‘normalcy,’ Human Services Program Manager LaShawn Roberts-Gibbs told What’s Up Prince William.
The foster care programs consist of about 120 children and young adults. Some of them, Roberts-Gibbs explained, are really smart and have plans for the future.
“We’re just trying to make it as comfortable as we can … while we have time with them, so that we can set them up to be productive in the community when they get older,” Roberts-Gibbs added.
Community members, organizations and businesses are welcome to serve as sponsors and can get started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to their gifting preference – whether they want to provide gifts or gift cards – groups and individuals will need to share how much they are able to spend. After determining the budget, staff members will provide them with a wish list.
Sponsors are asked to wrap and label the gifts, which must be new and unopened. The presents should be dropped off at Sudley Government Center, 7987 Ashton Avenue, Suite 200 in Manassas, by December 3.
Gift cards are popular among older kids and helpful to young adults who are in independent living, according to Roberts-Gibbs. Some gift card ideas include Target, Walmart, Visa, and places where they can grab fast food or coffee. Those that aren’t distributed through the Holiday Project are used to buy birthday gifts and other essentials year-round.
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