MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — One woman in central Illinois is answering Christmas wishes for foster kids. Hannah’s Hope Foster Closet in Mattoon is wrapping up its Angel Tree campaign, but donations are still needed.
“So, if we could give them a little bit of extra happiness and comfort then that’s what we want to do,” said Hannah’s Hope Foster Closet founder Jessica Stone.
Every Christmas Hannah’s Hope Foster closet tries to make at least one child feel special. This year, they’re helping 90. Throughout the year, the “starter kit” organization provides items for families with newly placed children
“Usually, a foster child is coming with little to nothing, and we try to help that– help the foster family because they don’t have an hours’ notice or whatever,” said Stone.
Stone said it’s a situation she knows all too well. As a foster parent to four kids, she knows how important this help is for the adults. But during the holiday season, she knows it’s something else that’s important to the children.
“There’s babies to older kids. Every one of them needs love. Everyone needs something to open at Christmas time or a little comfort throughout the year,” added Stone.
And with the angel trees, they get to say exactly what that need is. Tags are hung on each tree instead of ornaments. Every tag is a small wish list for a child in foster care.
“Most of them just want like t-shirts, nail polish, toys or something like that so it’s an easy way to give back to the community,” said store employee Courtney Wilson.
The trees were placed in two businesses and within a week, all tags were collected. The donated Angel tree items will be collected on December tenth. They will be given out as secret Santa gifts during the week of Christmas.
“So, if I could provide comfort to even juts one child, it makes my heart feel good,” said Stone.
Those interested in donating are encouraged to reach out to Hannah’s Hope Foster Closet on Facebook.