Ten for Teens Final Update
We did it, friends! Our “final” gift card tally was 1,056, which means over one-thousand teens in local foster care are receiving a gift this Christmas! Here’s how the numbers worked out:
Multnomah County: 590 gift cards
Washington County: 151 gift cards
Clackamas County: 148 gift cards
Marion County: 83 gift cards
Clark County: 83 gift cards
You all have NO IDEA the impact your generosity is having on both the foster kids who will receive these cards, but also the DHS workers who tirelessly serve vulnerable children in our area. They are absolutely floored with what you all gave and the messages of love that accompanied them. We are making a difference!
This has truly been a community effort — individuals, families, businesses, churches, neighbors, Bible studies, and work groups all decided to sacrifice something this Christmas to bless a teen in foster care. I know that some of you gave up a large portion of your Christmas to do this. Your selflessness was evident when I opened package after package, filled with hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards.
Here are just a few responses from the folks at Embrace Oregon and our local DHS offices:
From Embrace Oregon:
I cannot thank you enough for your incredible generosity! I felt speechless when Angela shared the news of how many cards were given by the community to bless local teens in foster care! I had the privilege of taking a peek at some of the notes and seeing the outpouring of love from the community first hand. They were beautiful, encouraging and uplifting and embodied the very spirit of what Christmas giving is all about!
As a foster and adoptive parent, I know that your mind-blowing generosity has been a welcomed gift for both a teen in foster care as well as for the caseworker who now, thanks to the FLNW stepping up in such a HUGE way, has something age-appropriate to hand to a teen on their caseload. Your generosity has served as a double blessing in this capacity.
Embrace Oregon seeks to serve the vulnerable families and children that the DHS Child Welfare system serves. We are a volunteer movement to mobilize the community to serve children alongside the state’s child welfare system.
There is no gift, time or talent that is too small to invest in embracing the vulnerable in our community. Embrace Oregon knows that many will never become a foster parent but desires to expose the community to the many ways they CAN still be actively involved with vulnerable children and the staff that serve them right in own community. I welcome you to check out EmbraceOregon.org to learn more about us or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I thank FLNW readers from the bottom of my heart for your phenomenal generosity and outpouring of love and compassion to vulnerable teens in foster care in our community! And on behalf of the teens receiving this fabulous variety of gift cards in the 5 county area, I thank you for the way your thoughtfulness and desire to bring Christmas love and cheer translated into over 1100 teens feeling remembered and special this Christmas season.
Jillana Goble, Embrace Oregon Child Welfare Coordinator
From Clark County:
I delivered the gift cards yesterday and was met with a mob of excited social workers. Sarah, Embrace Oregon County Coordinator
This will be huge for our teens who are so often overlooked when donations are made to the department. This is so generous of you to support the youth we serve. We can’t thank you enough for remembering them and sharing the joys of the holiday season. Peggy Hays, Special Programs Coordinator
From Washington County:
Thank you SO much for this incredible gift from Embrace Oregon, Frugal Living NW and all the people that graciously donated for the teens in Foster Care. I just love the way the community has come together to bring joy during this holiday season. Please know what a difference this will make in the lives of our teens during the holidays! Rachna Sharma, Foster Parent Recruiter
I’ve never seen so much generosity to our families and kids. This is a great place to be. People are very caring and giving. Thanks again! Rolanda Garcia, Interim District Manager Washington County
I add my thanks and words of appreciation to those you have already received from others here at DHS. The work you are facilitating is truly in the spirit of the Holiday Season. I continue to be amazed at the generosity of individuals and busineses and their collective willigness to spread cheer right now, and, partner with us to support youth in foster care. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Tom Vlahos, Program Manager
I just walked over a took a look at all the gift cards and the wide assortment you were able to provide! I so appreciate your hard work and commitment to our children. These gift cards will make a wonderful holiday for many of our teens who often get left out. Thanks so much! Shirley Volmuller, Program Manager
From Clackamas County:
Yet again our guardian angels are watching out for us. Thank you! In years past I’ve approved the use of some donated funds to buy the gift cards for teens because you are so right, teens prefer the cards. This gift will help our donated funds stretch even further this coming year so that we can buy hygiene products for our poverty-stricken families. There is still a lot of need out there and we’re eternally grateful when we can stretch our limited funds even further. Thanks again and I hope you and your family have a very blessed Christmas. Jerry Buzzard, District Manager Clackamas County DHS
As I received comments from other counties, I will update this post.
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