Holiday Dinner With Kids
The holiday season is a time of family, friends, and plenty of good cheer. It can also be a time of great isolation for those who don’t have loved ones with which to share this special time of year. Among those often lost in the shuffle? Those in the foster-care system. For this reason, the Darol Rodrock Foundation makes the holiday season one of surprise and joy for local foster-care youth.
Among the festive plans the Foundation elves plan are a series of care packages shipped to foster kids who recently went away to college. Between 25 and 30 baskets are mailed out the last week of November and are slated to arrive during the first week of December—right in time for finals.
For almost 100 foster-care kids who remain in town, the Foundation elves plan a “country Christmas” themed party, in which Santa makes an appearance, and kids enjoy sleigh rides around the park before sitting down for a hearty dinner. Darol Rodrock himself often speaks to the kids, before they settle in for some sticky s’mores as a sweet ending to an unforgettable evening.
The night is a perfect way to treat not only those children in foster care, but also those who care for them—including residential staff, case managers, and their foster families. Yet the Foundation elves are still not finished. The Foundation holds an annual toy drive, in addition to collecting winter jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets.
“The holidays are such a special time for children,” says Darol Rodrock. “Kids are filled with so much hope and joy this time of year, and we wanted to make sure the circumstances of foster care didn’t dim that delight for some local kids. Every child should look forward to the holidays. Every child should light up at seeing Santa and eagerly anticipate the surprise waiting inside a brightly wrapped package.”