Hancock County

Foster children depend on public’s generosity for Christmas

Volunteers from government and public safety departments are gearing up for Foster the Cause, a joint effort to provide Christmas for children in foster homes in Hancock County.
Volunteers from government and public safety departments are gearing up for Foster the Cause, a joint effort to provide Christmas for children in foster homes in Hancock County.

Some 300 children in temporary foster care in Hancock County don’t realize it, but their Christmas largely depends on donations from the public.

That’s why groups that sponsor the annual Foster The Cause are looking for donations of money, unwrapped toys and gift cards to make Christmas a happier time for the county’s abused and neglected children, Youth Court Administrator Stephanie Stewart said.

“They’re scared and they don’t know where they will go next,” Stewart said. “Some of them are just getting to know their foster parents. With the public’s help, we can provide them exactly what they want for Christmas plus a party that’s like going to Disney World.”

Foster parents are providing wish lists from the children and the children also will receive gifts at a Christmas party. There will be games, prizes, food and a visit from Santa.

“They will have a fun day with their peers that they won’t forget,” Stewart said.

People who give can be assured their generosity will bring smiles to children most in need of happiness, she said.

The number of children in temporary foster care in Hancock County has dropped about 20 percent to 25 percent since this time last year, Stewart said.

Where to give

Unwrapped toys or gift cards can be dropped off at several locations or you can call Hancock County Youth Court at 228-467-7945 for pickup.

Three dropoff sites in Bay St. Louis are available through Dec. 9: Hancock County Youth Court, 126 Court St.; Court Appointed Special Advocates Office, 412 U.S. 90, Suite 3; and Child Protection Services, 856 U.S. 90.

Four other locations are available from Monday through Dec. 2: Waveland Fire Department, 427 U.S. 90; Mississippi Highway Patrol Driver’s License Office, 16603 Mississippi 603, Kiln; and the Hancock County Board of Supervisors Office and the Hancock County Tax Assessor’s Office, 854 U.S. 90, Suite A, Bay St. Louis. Dropoff hours vary but are generally during business hours.

Police and deputies will collect money Dec. 2 for presents and the party.

Hancock County deputies will be at the Wal-Mart in Waveland and Diamondhead police will be collecting at Rouses, both from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Waveland police will be collecting at Claiborne Hill at 410 U.S. 90 from 8 a.m. to noon.

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