KVC Mobilized Communities to Give Holiday Gifts to 5,800 Children in Foster Care

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Staff in four states reached out to the community to collect presents, gift cards and monetary donations so children receiving services would have gifts to open.

During the 2014 holiday season, KVC Health Systems and its subsidiaries brightened the holidays for 5,876 children in foster care and/or receiving treatment at KVC’s children’s psychiatric hospitals by providing gifts for them. Most of the youth who received gifts have experienced physical or sexual abuse, neglect or other family challenges, and have been removed from their homes and matched with a KVC foster family for support. Individuals, families, church communities and businesses volunteered to purchase gifts on children’s wish lists.

Living away from home during the holidays can be an unsure time for children in foster care. Many wonder if they will have presents to open. Since KVC provides foster care and other family services on behalf of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the West Virginia Department for Health and Human Services, KVC staff in these four states reached out to the community to collect presents, gift cards and monetary donations so children receiving services would have gifts to open. The number of children who received gifts is broken down by state below.

KANSAS
4,242 children received holiday gifts through KVC Kansas’ Adopt an Angel program. See the complete list of businesses and community partners who helped provide gifts here. One noteworthy contributor is Kansas City-based mechanical engineering firm U.S. Engineering which has participated in the Adopt an Angel program for the past 19 years, and this year reached the milestone of providing gifts for over 500 children. Radio station Life 88.5 also partnered with KVC for the first time this year, and read children’s wish lists on the air. Listeners responded by providing gifts for 520 children in foster care.

Some children and adolescents receiving treatment at KVC’s psychiatric hospitals were unable to leave the campus or had nowhere else to go during the holidays. Community partners provided gifts for 63 children at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. and KVC Wheatland Hospital in Hays, Kan.

KENTUCKY
550 children received holiday gifts from the Salvation Army Angel Tree, the Montessori Middle School of Kentucky, Fortune Realty and other individuals. In Kentucky, KVC provides family preservation and diversion, foster care, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services.

NEBRASKA
498 children in foster care in Omaha, Lincoln and surrounding communities received holiday gifts through KVC Nebraska’s partnership with United Way Midlands, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Toys for Tots. KVC is the largest foster family recruiting (or child placing) agency in Nebraska.

WEST VIRGINIA
586 children received holiday gifts through KVC West Virginia’s Santa’s Elves for Children program. See the complete list of businesses and community organizations who provided gifts here. Several gifts were donated by Greenbrier Resort, and monetary donations were used to purchase gifts. KVC is the largest private foster family recruiting (or child placing) agency in West Virginia.

To learn more about helping youth in foster care or to participate in the upcoming back-to-school supplies campaigns in these states, visit http://www.kvc.org.

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About KVC Health Systems, Inc.
KVC Health Systems, headquartered in the greater Kansas City area, is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that enriches and enhances the lives of over 50,000 children and families each year by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. KVC’s diverse continuum of services includes foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy, behavioral healthcare, and children’s psychiatric hospitals. In its 45-year history, KVC has grown since from a single Kansas home for boys to a national organization serving tens of thousands of children in five states. Due to KVC’s leadership in the use of research-based practices to improve outcomes, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has endorsed KVC as a national best practice organization. Learn more at http://www.kvc.org.

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Jenny Kutz
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