The holiday season can be stressful, particularly for youth in foster care. With that in mind, we thought we'd provide a helpful roundup of tips for foster parents, fun Christmas crafts for kids, and a list of resources for those looking to give back this holiday season.
Holiday Tips for Foster Parents
- Does your family have holiday traditions? Discuss them with the foster youth in your care. Prepare them for new people they might meet, and what they can expect from the experience.
- Will friends and family be visiting your home? Talk to them ahead of time so they're aware of the situation. Let them know in advance that your foster child might not enjoy the celebrations and if they want to spend time on their own, they should accept their choice.
- Make an effort to understand your foster youth's holiday traditions. Encouraging an open discussion will demonstrate an interest and help them feel welcome. If possible, include one of their traditions alongside your own.
- Be patient. Many foster youth tend to withdraw during the holiday season, due to stress and a feeling of isolation. Keep in mind that this isn't an insult, but rather a coping mechanism. Let them know you're available to talk, and be understanding if they need time to process things on their own.
Kid-Friendly Christmas Crafts
Feel-Good Gift Guide
Whether you purchase a gift from their website, or make a donation in someone's name, the following nonprofits are our favorites this holiday season!
- Together We Rise: Purchase a plush stuffed animal, coffee mug, or other items from their shop, and help support kids in foster care.
- Out of Print: By ordering literary-inspired items from this organization, they're able to further their goal of donating books and supporting literacy programs around the world.
- Golden Door: 100% of net profits for this organization are pledged to organizations that transform the lives of children.
- Make a Wish Foundation: Help support children who are battling life-threatening illnesses. This organization accepts donations, and has a variety of merchandise available for purchase on their website.
- Oceana: The largest international organization dedicated to the conservation of our oceans, Oceana has animal adoption packs available for the animal lover in your life.
- Double Good Popcorn: Fifty cents from every dollar spent goes toward helping kids with special needs participate in extracurriculars and sports.
- Invisible Children: This nonprofit works to provide rehabilitation to former child soldiers. Donations go towards providing play therapy kits, a pathway to education, or a return home to an escaped child soldier.
- The Adventure Project: Send a "lump of coal" (handmade soap) to someone on your gift list, while also providing a family in Haiti with a charcoal-efficient stove.
- Kiva: Founded in 2005 in San Francisco, Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending in order to alleviate poverty.
- Heifer International: This nonprofit works to provide impoverished communities with the tools and resources needed to establish sustainable agriculture and commerce. Check out their gift catalog for more info.
- EA Family Services: Help us extend our reach and provide assistance to more communities in 2019. Looking for other ways to get involved? We offer opportunities for volunteering, legacy planning, mentoring, and more!