UPDATE: A previous version of this story stated 40 kids in foster care would be receiving hampers, and 38 will be receiving stockings. 39 kids in care received hampers and stockings according to a recent count done by organizers.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local resident and former foster child, Brandi Kennedy, has made it her mission to ensure local foster children receive gifts during the holiday season.
Kennedy first began connecting with group foster homes in the area in 2019 to get information about the kids in care.
“It started with being an initiative to help out the kids that were in the group homes because they’re staffed facilities, and they’re not really a family home. Then it just sort of grew from there,” Kennedy reflected.
“I really wanted to find a way to support the foster families and the caregivers that are taking care of vulnerable children and youth,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy then made a Facebook group called “Christmas gifts for kids in care – fsj,” where she posts info about the kids as well as gift ideas for them.
“What I’ll do is I’ll collect profiles or gift ideas from the foster parents who are asking for help. Everything is confidential. Then people just go to town, and the kids get sponsored almost immediately,” Kennedy explained.
Members of the group, both residents and local businesses, can decide if they would like to sponsor the entire hamper for the child or donate individual items.
“I also get some community support from local businesses. Cass’s Kitchen has given me great deals on candy bags,” Kennedy said.
Other businesses that have contributed this year include Sticky’s Candy and Coupon Queens. To view a full list of residents and businesses that contributed click here.
Kennedy has been working with fellow resident Jodi Howard for the past few years to ensure the kids also receive a stocking.
After a final count, 39 kids in care received hampers and stockings.
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