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Helping a foster child can get you into the holiday spirit

The holiday season is a magical time when we search our hearts and think of those who are dear to us, those we love and those who have made a positive impact in our lives. It's a busy season; there is much to be done and time is of the essence.

However, we find time to reflect on some very simple values that we learned as children. We learned that it is better to give than to receive and the importance of family unity. During this time of peaceful deliberation, we ask ourselves: "What is it that makes this season so fulfilling?"

The reason is clear. It is a time when we count our blessings and think of others and the many ways we can bring joy to them. It is the "gift of giving."

We reflect on our family and friends and how lucky we are to have plenty. We also think of those who don't have many of the simple things they need, to say nothing of the extras that most of us enjoy during the holiday season. It is important to take every opportunity to teach our own families the warmth one receives by helping others. Many families make the "gift of giving" a family tradition that is celebrated each year during the holidays.

To find ways to help those less fortunate, we need not look beyond our own backyards. The Foster Children's Foundation, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is one of many service providers who work daily to help foster children in our community improve their quality of life. Oftentimes, these children do not have many of the essentials that non-fostered youth enjoy. With your support, these children's dreams can come true and their needs fulfilled. Together we can provide them with the clothing, personal care items and mentors who will help raise their self-esteem.

Who are these children that need our help? Children living in our community whose circumstances have left them without a home and family. They range in age from newborn to 21 years old, come from all ethnic backgrounds and all share the need to feel safe and have their needs met. In Gwinnett County alone, there are more than 750 children in foster care who need the love and support of their community.

The Foster Children's Foundation welcomes the opportunity to share with you the many ways you and others you know can make a difference. Monetary donations allow us to provide items that are needed but do not get donated. Your tax-deductible contributions can be made payable to:

Foster Children's Foundation

P.O. Box 2469

Duluth, GA 30096

For more information, visit our Web site at www.fosterchildrensfoundation.org or call the Foster Children's Foundation at 770-623-6135.

It is our hope that you will join us in spreading the joy that comes from giving.

"People Helping People" is a weekly column written by the executive directors of nonprofit organizations in Gwinnett County. Today's article was written by Suzanne Geske of the Foster Children's Foundation.

Need help or know someone who does? The Gwinnett Helpline directs callers to the appropriate nonprofit agency. Call 770-995-3339.