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The Department of Human Services hosts 34th annual Holiday Cottage

Select a foster child by the end of November
Christmas toys
Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 20:44:52-05

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — “The kids in foster care, they do rely on us during this season to just make it a little brighter so we really, really would love the community to help us out," said Department of Human Services spokesperson Jana Slagle.

This year marks the department's 34th annual Holiday Cottage.

Due to COVID-19, last year’s event was entirely virtual with just financial donations. This year is still online, but it’s more personal.

Foster kids send in their Christmas wishes, a gift of about $50. Community members then pick one to purchase.

“This year we're able to do it online and allow the community to see the child’s first name and age and what their wish is, and then just have it shipped to us and then we make sure the child gets the gift," said Slagle.

Last year, 700 foster kids got gifts. Slagle said they’re hoping to give at least that many again.

“It makes them feel seen. It makes them feel cared about in a time they may be feeling really lonely," she said.

And it’s not just the foster children who benefit.

“It’s a really nice way to teach your family, to teach your children how to give," said Slagle.

Sign up by the end of November through the DHS website or make a financial donation here.

“We could not do it without the community’s support and it amazes me every year when people from the community just jump right in and buy gifts for kids," said Slagle.