Tulsa’s Family & Children’s Services provides assistance and support to one in six Tulsans.
That’s a lot of families in our area who may be struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. Family & Children’s Services is asking you to help out, through its Holiday Assistance Program for its clients.
“They’re all individuals in families who have financial need,” says Tina Wells with F&CS, “who are also being served in one of our programs.”
Examples include children who’ve been abused, families struggling though crises, or someone suffering from a mental illness.
Family and Children’s Services case workers, familiar with these families and their struggles, nominate them to participate in the program.
“Families fill out wish lists, and then we have generous donors who fulfill those wish lists,” Wells said.
They’re hoping you’ll consider being one of those generous donors. Wells says it’s not necessarily something that would require a lot of money.
“It’s just amazing to read, to see some of the things these families need,” she said. “A broom. A sweatshirt, a plain grey sweatshirt to wear as part of a school uniform. Books. Crayons.”
She says that the effect on families tends to be more than just meeting a specific need for a good.
“Very small, simple things can make such a difference,” she said, “in the recovery of people who are going through a challenging not only financial time, but a challenging time because of abuse or mental illness.”
F&CS wants to make it as simple as possible to get involved, so if you feel like you might not have a lot of extra time to shop, that’s not a problem.
“We have this every year,” she said, people “want to participate, they want to make a difference, but the idea of shopping for a family intimidates them, or they have challenges that make it difficult for them to actually go out and fill a wish list.”
Not to worry. Donations of cash are easily turned into items on a wish list.
“We have shoppers who will do the shopping to fill the wish list,” Wells said.
Additionally, you can bring individual items by the F&CS offices.
Wells says if you do want to adopt a family, a good way might to be to try to select one similar to your own. She says her family does this every year.
“We always look to be matched with a family that has a child around my son’s age,” she said. “So that he can feel that impact of what it’s like to give. And it really teaches him a lesson to see that there are boys his age that are asking for socks.”
FC&S is asking for donations and adoptions through December 10.
To be matched with a family, call the holiday assistance coordinator, at (918) 560-1115.
Otherwise, starting in December, “almost every day, someone is coming to our office at 8th and Peoria and dripping off a box full of books, or a bag full of mittens, or a check,” Wells says, “and we’re here five days a week, eight to five, and so gratefully we’ll accept those gifts.”