The HHS State Office teamed up with the Governor’s Commission for Women and Partnerships for Children to host the fourth annual Holiday Wishes gift drive benefiting children in foster care in Central Texas.
On Dec. 6–7, HHS team members volunteered to collect and tag gifts. The volunteers shared holiday cheer as they unloaded bikes, games, dolls and stuffed animals from vehicles.
“Many of us look forward to the holidays and spending time with loved ones. Unfortunately for foster children, this isn’t always the case,” said Lynn Burdick, Employee Programs coordinator. “HHS team members showed their holiday spirit, and this year we increased sponsorship by over 25%, making the holidays a little brighter for those children.”
HHS employees sponsored 649 wish lists in 2021. This year, HHS employees increased their efforts to 852 wish lists and donated over 2,500 gifts to foster children from infants to 18 years old.
The HHS HR Employee Programs team led the effort by promoting the event, collecting sponsorship information and coordinating a successful gift drop-off.
Partnerships for Children supports children and families involved with Child Protective Services by providing programs such as an emergency resource room, mentor program for teenage foster youth and the Heart Gallery, which features children who are available for adoption.
Partnerships for Children also oversees the Holiday Wishes initiative, which relies on people to donate gifts to fulfill wish lists. This year, 46 state agencies participated, providing over 10,500 gifts to more than 3,500 children in foster care.