Non-profit helps foster families get some Christmas cheer

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than 250 families got a taste of the true meaning of Christmas Saturday.

FosterAdopt Connect is a non-profit created for foster families, by foster families, and have helped more than 1,600 kids get a bit of Christmas cheer.

"People have been extraordinarily generous," Lori Ross, the President and CEO of FosterAdopt Connect said. "Maybe a little of a Christmas miracle!" she added with a smile.

The spirit of Christmas isn't found in gifts. But for kids who have little else, it can feel that way.

"Right now, there's nothing under the tree," Tammy Summers said as she loaded up a yellow bag. Summers is fostering her grandchildren right now.

She gestured to her yellow bag. "So when this gets wrapped, they're going to know they haven't been forgotten."

Summers continued, "they've got their friends that are talking about all this stuff they're getting for Christmas and you know, playing with their toys."

"And then you know, you've got the kids don't have their moms, don't have their dads in the picture, they're just living day to day and trying to be as happy as they can. That's what I'm trying to do, is provide a safe environment of love for my grand kids."

For one day, the former Toys-R-Us in Independence was again stocked with toys; though this time, only for four hours, and only for foster kids.

"We do this because we recognize that these kids are the most incredible, resilient kids who have survived trauma and obstacles that most of us won't face in our entire lifetimes," said Ross of FosterAdopt Connect.

"And we want to be able to give them joy in the Christmas holiday," she continued. "We want them to be able to feel blessed abundantly, when they wake up on Christmas and find what Santa has been able to do for them, that Santa did not loose track of where they went."

"Imagine being a child and living with people who aren't your family at Christmas time," explained Ross of FosterAdopt. "It's a hard thing. We want to ease that pain a little bit - and the right doll, or the bike, or the right car maybe can help a little."

By late Saturday morning, most of the shelves were bare. The yellow bags bulged with toys, bound for a home with a foster child.

"There are so many families in the area that are benefiting from this," said Summers, looking around. "We can't thank FosterAdopt enough for what they are doing. All we can say is that it's a blessing."

These gifts show that Santa did not forget them. But more so, these gifts remind those 1,600 foster children someone loves them.

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