The Wesley Center teamed up with Circle of Care to provide Christmas presents to 12 foster children.
Circle of Care is a United Methodist organization whose mission is to help children and families in need assure a healthy future, according to its website, circleofcare.org.
“They have given us 12 children to take care of and our goal is to get $100 per child to give them $100 worth of Christmas gifts for the year,” said Olivia Coil, youth ministry senior. “It’s also bringing awareness that foster children are a part of our community.”
Last year about 230,000 children exited foster care in the U.S., about 20,000 less than those who entered into it, according to data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System.
“I donated to Circle of Care because I’m in Ris4Thursday and I know the struggles that foster kids go through,” said Tomorrow Denton, cell and molecular biology sophomore. “I had foster brothers growing up and they would always get free Christmas presents from the agency, and they would be super happy. I just wanted to contribute to that happiness.”
People can donate money or new items from a list the children created, Coil said.
Items on the list include Play-Dough, books, LEGOs, camping gear and Barbie dolls. The complete list can be found at their table outside the caf in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center.
“People should donate because it helps them to believe that they have made a difference in the world bigger than themselves,” Coil said. “Even donating a penny, it makes a difference. That one penny can change a child’s life by making them realize that someone cares enough to donate.”
The Wesley Center will also host a silent auction from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 19 upstairs in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel.
“People can come and bid on lots of different items that we’ll have available,” Coil said. “So they can give money that way and get something in return.”
Items for auction come from the Belle Isle Brewery, Rocktown Climbing Gym, Riversport Adventure, and Starbucks.
To make a donation, visit the Wesley Center’s table between 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 18 outside the caf.
For more information on how to help the Wesley Center and Circle of Care, students, faculty and staff may email Coil at firstname.lastname@example.org.