Bring Christmas to a child through Chilton County DHR
Published 12:10 pm Monday, November 22, 2021
By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor
Chilton County DHR is asking the community for help this Christmas in bringing cheer to local children in foster care.
Leigh Ann Boddie is coordinating this year’s Christmas Wishes project to ensure each child has a present on Christmas day.
“We want to make Christmas as special and magical for our foster children as it is for children who will be able to spend the holiday with their own families,” Boddie said.
Community support has already come in to grant the Christmas Wishes of the younger children, but presents for older children and teenagers still need to be secured.
The deadline to offer help is Dec. 10.
“Although the state of Alabama does provide for the essential living needs of these children, and the foster parents also sacrifice their time and resources, help is needed from the local community to provide for special events and needs such as Christmas,” according to Chilton County DHR.
There are several ways that community members can help, including sponsoring a specific child, buying a gift card toward a teen’s gift or making a donation to the Foster Children’s Fund for DHR personnel to handle the shopping.
Those interested in purchasing gifts for a specific child should call DHR at 205-258-4915 or 205-258-4914 or email DHR director Marilyn Colson at Marilyn.Colson2@dhr.alabama.gov.
Colson said the Chilton County community has always faithfully supported the Christmas Wishes efforts.
Monetary donations can be made by mailing a check made payable to “Foster Children’s Fund at DHR” to P.O. Box 1699, Clanton, AL 35046 or taking it to Chilton County DHR located on Health Center Drive (across from the Health Department.)
There are 141 children in foster care in Chilton County, this is an increase from the 130 that were in foster care in October.
“The increase is primarily due to caregivers not being able to care for children due to illegal drug use,” according to Chilton County DHR.
However, there is also good news. There were 81 children who found permanency in the past year. Colson said this was through the child being able to return home, finding a home with other relatives or being adopted. There were 21 children adopted by foster parents in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.