COLORADO SPRINGS — While 2020 has been a challenging year for many people, imagine how hard it’s been for children in foster care. While these children don’t have their biological family to spend the holidays with, a local organization hopes that with the help of the community, they can make Christmas enjoyable.
Kids Crossing, a child placement agency in Colorado Springs that licenses families to adopt and foster children, set up an Amazon wish list this holiday season. The community can go online and buy presents for local foster care children.
Jean Proctor is a foster parent and has six children, five who were adopted after she fostered them. She says with the help of Kids Crossing, COVID-19 isn't canceling Christmas for any children in the foster care system.
"Christmas is a very special time of year, you bring a lot of traditions, there's a lot of family time," said Proctor.
However for kids in the foster care system or children who have been adopted, those traditions aren't the same.
"You don't come into foster care, you don't get adopted without experiencing trauma and Christmas can be very triggering for that trauma," said Proctor.
Proctor understands that the holidays can be tough for a kid in foster care, especially after a year like 2020, where visits with biological families looked much different.
"They've done video visits, which are hard, because you can't touch your mom and dad, you can't give them a hug. Even visit now, they have to wear masks," said Sarah Bailey, who works at Kids Crossing.
Bailey hopes the virtual gift giveaway will put a big smile on a kid's face with a small, donated gift.
"They're still getting those gifts at christmas time, that they're still feeling that magic."
While Proctor's children aren't spending the holidays with their biological family, they're beginning new traditions of their own.
"Their face lights up when they get new clothes and new toys, and things they get to keep that are theirs forever. It just really makes a difference for these kids," said Proctor.
They’ve set up an Amazon Wish List online, where the community can buy presents for kids virtually. There are nearly 350 kids on this year's "nice" list, deserving of a present under their Christmas tree.