How you can share Christmas miracles with children in need

Information from The Taylor County Child Welfare Board:


·        About Taylor County Child Welfare Board:
-        Our mission is to support Child Protective Services by advocating for and increasing the effectiveness of services to vulnerable children while promoting prevention of child abuse/ neglect.
-        Child Welfare Board members are volunteers that come from all walks of life. They are each passionate about providing children a loving, nurturing and safe environment.
-        The Child Welfare Board members are appointed by the County Commissioners. The County also widely funds its programs. Other supporters include Junior League, Kiwanis, ATT Pioneers, Abilene Community Foundation and several faith based leaders.
-        Our main function is provide emergency financial assistance to children undergoing trauma in our local community as well as emergency resources through our Bluebonnet Room, an emergency resource room located at CPS that provides hygiene/ infant/ clothing items for children in need. This room this past Fiscal Year, served approximately 791 children with over $19K worth in in kind donations. The Board also supports awareness events such as National Adoption Day and Child Abuse Awareness Month. Its most recent project was building a nursery visitation room for CPS, providing a safe place for mothers to bond with their infants.
·        About Miracle on Vine Street:
-        While the name of the program is fairly new, this event has existed for years. It gets its name from a combination of the famous holiday movie, with the location of the CPS office on Vine Street here in Abilene.
-        Child Protective Services caseworkers work with the children on their caseload that are in Family Based Safety Services or Kinship care to write wish lists to Santa. Kinship care is when a child is removed from the parents or guardians due to unsafe circumstances and placed with a close relative until the situation is remedied via parental training or rehabilitation. Family Based Safety Services is when a child remains with their family but the family must undergo services to ensure the child is safe.
-        Often times, a family is simply struggling or caregivers in these situations do not have the funds to give their children the Christmas they would like to. If an aunt/ uncle or foster parent has three of their own children and have welcomed another sibling group into their home to help children avoid foster care, there are unexpected expenses.
-        Children (ages infant to 18) filling out wish lists to Santa are encouraged to include something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. The spending cap is at $100 total.
-        In turn, the Child Welfare Board matches those wish lists with local donors, or "elves" to help make their Christmas wishes come true and giving each youth a chance to celebrate Christmas.
-        It is easy to sponsor a child. Simply fill out a registration form as a donor elf by contacting brittany.wade@dfps.state.tx.us or (325) 691-8148 by Friday, November 3rd. Sponsors will then receive a short wish list from a child to help them shop for a gift(s) on Friday, November 10th.
-        Drop off of unwrapped gifts will be coordinated on Sunday, December 3rd at Southern Hills Church of Christ on 3364 Buffalo Gap Road. For those who would like to avoid shopping malls, gift card, cash and check donations may also be made to the Taylor County Child Welfare Board and mailed to 3610 Vine Street attention to Brittany Wade. Donation receipts are always available and will be sent to you if the donation is mailed in.
-        Last year, the Miracle on Vine Street program served approximately 300 children. The best part of Christmas is seeing the joy on a child's face. Help make this a memorable holiday experience by sponsoring a child today.

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