This Month’s Co-op Community Champion, Brandi Kennedy, is a former foster child whose mission is to ensure local kids in care receive gifts during the holiday season.

Co-op highlights people in Fort St. John who should be recognized for their work in the community. Anyone looking to nominate a community-minded person in need of recognition, head to Energeticcity’s website.

Kennedy first began connecting with group foster homes in the area in 2019 to get information about the kids in care.

“I just had a heart for the kids that were in group homes because I had spent time in group homes over holidays when I was younger,” said Kennedy.

She had also heard from multiple community members who couldn’t foster but still wanted to help out any way they could.

Kennedy says foster parents aren’t given extra funds to cover Christmas expenses for their kids.

“They get a small portion of their maintenance for gifts, but it’s not very much. And it’s supposed to be for all the kids’ gifts for the whole entire year.”

The hamper drive helps the fostering community by relieving some financial strain on the parents, Kennedy said.

This past Christmas, Kennedy’s initiative broke its own record with 39 kids in care receiving hampers and stockings.

Kennedy moved to Fort St. John with her husband in 2010 and has grown their family through adoption and fostering.

The couple has adopted three kids and had one child born into their family.

“We’ve gone from being a double income, no children, couple to having a whole bunch of kids. We’ve grown our family in this community and try to get involved where we can when we see that somebody is struggling in it.”

Kennedy also works for a nonprofit organization called Adoptive Families Association of BC, helping people that are interested in adoption.

Anyone looking to nominate a community-minded person in need of recognition, head to Energeticcity’s website.