The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree
New Covenant’s Annual Christmas Outreach to Foster Families
through Circle of Care’s Child SHARE Ministry
Child SHARE (Shelter Homes: A Rescue Effort) is a program that started in California in 1985 to provide foster families with clothing, equipment and support through area churches. The Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, which has helped children and youth through residential and foster care services since 1917, adopted the Child SHARE program in 1999 and, along with several other programs, continues to provide this support still today.
There are more than 11,000 children in Oklahoma’s foster care system. On any given day there are 150 children in need of a foster home, which has yet to be found. When a foster home is not available, these children stay in county shelters. In response to the lawsuit that was brought against DHS, the use of county shelters is being phased out. This has created an urgent need for more foster homes in Oklahoma.
Many of the children are also burdened with disabilities and the parents who choose to foster, and often times adopt, must stretch their budgets in almost insurmountable ways. Circle of Care works to recruit, train, and provide ongoing support to foster parents through the Child SHARE program. One aspect of the program is a free Christmas party for the foster families.
New Covenant’s Role
New Covenant has hosted Circle of Care’s Child SHARE Christmas party, supplying gifts and food baskets for 50 to 90 foster families each year for over 9 years. Two sets of gifts are provided for each child in the foster home- biological, adopted or foster. New Covenant provides the first set of gifts to distribute at the party and often times the second set of gifts as well which the parents pick up later to provide to their children on Christmas day. New Covenant’s Christmas party is festive and offers activities for the kids, cookies & punch, a visit from Santa and lots and lots of LOVE!
Kathy Sewell who has been in charge of coordinating this party for New Covenant for many years has said that each year she is “humbled by all the families’ willingness to open their homes and lives to so many foster kids and especially those with special needs when quite often they may already be struggling to make ends meet themselves.”
Making a Difference…
Here are just of couple of comments that have been received from 2 foster families who have been participants at a previous Child SHARE Christmas party.
"There's not enough thank you in the world to say how much this means to me and my daughter. I've always known there was good in this world, but the out pouring is a blessing. I can't buy my child gifts this year myself so knowing there are people that give of themselves brings tears to my eyes. God is so good, so from my family to yours, I say thank you."
Nikki Hunt and family
"Our kids are so excited to receive Christmas gifts on Christmas morning from Santa. Many of our foster kids tell us it’s the first time Santa has ever visited them. One of our foster kids said they had not received anything except a stuffed animal for the last 4 years for Christmas. You guys are helping to making a huge difference for these kids who have never experienced Christmas the way a child should. Thank you!"
Stormy Duffle and family
Please participate with us in this worthy ministry again this year!
Opportunities to Give
• A gift and/or food basket by Sunday, Dec 6. First, select a tag, Sunday, Nov 11 - Nov 29.
• Two dozen cookies on Friday, Dec 11, by 3:00 pm for the Child SHARE Christmas Party. Please sign up at one of the Giving Tree tables.
Places to Serve
• November 12, 9:00 am: Gift Tag Party, Room 102/03
Prepare tags, set up trees and place tags on the trees
• November 15-December 6: Assist at the Giving Trees, Decker Hall/NC Cafe (Sundays)
• December 10, 6:30 pm: Gift Wrapping Party, Choir Room
• December 11, 5:00 pm: ChildShare Party Set-up, Activity Center
• December 12, 1:00 pm: ChildShare Christmas Party, Activity Center
Please contact Jean Pruitt or by calling 405.330.8254 with any questions or to just sign up!