There is a special group of children who are sometimes overlooked at Christmas. That is why each year I devote a holiday column to ask readers to fulfill particular wishes.
Young clients in foster care with Catholic Community Services of Everett were invited to forward their letters to Santa Claus to me.
In this state, almost 11,000 children are in foster homes. Fewer than a fourth are placed with their siblings, said Debra Mazick, director of family and children services for CCS in Everett, the largest private agency serving foster children in Washington.
Imagine spending Christmas without your brother, sister, mom or dad. I’m sure most foster families do the best they can to make the holidays bright, but taking in foster children provides enough for basic support but not for additional gifts.
Mazick said many foster kids arrive at families’ homes with only their clothes. Families who take in infants get $300 each month. The family of a 7-year-old gets about $400 a month.
If the foster family is buying clothing, toothpaste and school supplies for each child, there isn’t much leftover for Christmas gifts.
Let’s see what the children want this year. Three of the letters came from kids whose brothers and sisters were placed in separate foster homes, because there wasn’t a family available that could accommodate all three children.
Genessa, 6: I hope to get a cat, dog and lion. And also a Baby Born Doll and a bike with four wheels. I love you and my mom.
Seth, 7: Dear Santa, I want a GI Joe and an Army truck or tank. Any toy will be good and my address is still the same. Merry Christmas from Seth.
John, 8: Legos, music, tapes and CDs, educational videos, cars, train, books.
Andrew, 4: Dear Santa, I want a Ninja Turtle sleeping bag and a Donatello figure.
Taya, 5: Dear Santa, I hope you bring me books and art stuff. I would also like to have a baby doll and Polly Pockets. I hope your reindeer remember how to get to my house. I will give you cookies again.
Jenny, 5: Dear Santa, I have been a very good girl this year. I would like Strawberry Shortcake coloring books, a Hello Kitty watch and an art set. Thank you, Jenny.
Raine, 8: Dear Santa, I would like a kitten, mini skateboard and roller blades. I would like my mom to get a home.
Hallie, 4: Dear Santa, I want candy canes to hang, a really pretty dress, a horse, real make-up, a pretty Barbie and beautiful jewelry. Love, Hallie.
Jordyn, 5: Dear Santa, Yesterday was school. For Christmas I would like new jewelry, a new ring because I lost my other one, pink ribbons for my hair and pretty nail polish. Thanks, Santa.
Renee, 3: Dear Santa, I would like a baby doll and stroller and a blankie for her, too. Please bring them to me right away. I have been a good girl.
A loving foster mom: Dear Santa, I would like a Christian boyfriend for Christmas, age 37 to 45.
Ian, 6: Dear Santa, I do not live where I was. I do not live with my mom. I will soon. I would like to have cars, trucks, Ninjas and Legos. Please help. I love you.
Jake, 4: Mr. Santa, Do you have some trucks and Spidermans? Love, Jake.
Elya, 6: Dear Santa, I hope I get presents. Not coal. I want a doll, a coloring book, a Barbie doll and Bratz doll. Love, Elya.
Annie, 4: Dear Santa Claus, XOXO. I would like to play with a doll. I don’t have one. I hope you can give me one at Christmas Eve. Love XOXO, Annie
Mark, 5: I hope you can find me and my sister. We moved. We have cookies for you.
Andrienne, 8 and brother Cable, 4: Dear Santa, How are you this year? I am very, very good and I live with a good family I like a lot and my little brother, too. Can you bring us presents? I would like a Strawberry Shortcake doll, books to read, and a lamp for my bed. Cable wants stuff to play with, Thomas the Train, toys, or a Spiderman suit he saw on Halloween. That’s all for us. I will see you, I hope, on Christmas.
CCS is collecting gifts 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. through Thursday at 1918 Everett Ave., in Everett. For pokey Santa’s, deliver is next week 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Dec. 28-30 or 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 31. For more information call, 425-257-2101, ext. 3358.
Mazick also had a wish for Santa. Her agency needs more foster families.
The need never ends.
Columnist Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.