Each winter, our CASA office in Springdale undergoes a major transformation, from a calm and tidy office to a wonderfully chaotic replica of Santa’s workshop. Conference tables and chairs are pushed against the walls making room for bright red bags, each carefully sorted and labeled. Bikes are tagged, Barbie houses are assembled, Lego sets are stacked, Nikes and Crocs are checked for sizing. Makeup palettes and art supplies and Pokémon cards, books and Airpods, baby dolls and soccer balls – all nestled into red gift bags. By mid-December these bags line our hallways, offices, and conference rooms, organized and numbered, ready to go out for delivery.
These red bags though, aren’t simply filled with material objects. They are filled with hopes and wishes for Christmas magic. Each bag represents one of the 400+ children and youth in foster care in our community, from babies enjoying their first Christmas trees to young adults celebrating their first holidays living independently. Many of these young people will spend the holidays separated from their families, living in residential treatment centers and shelters, or settling into foster homes.
At CASA of NWA, we make it our mission to ensure that every child in our program, regardless of their circumstances, receives their very own unique and individualized red bag of Christmas magic. Our staff and volunteers travel the state, from the Ozarks to the Delta, loaded with those shiny red bags. And while we recognize that we cannot erase the hurt, fear, or loneliness these young people may be experiencing, we can play a small part in bringing some joy and hope to their holidays.
This is one of our favorite times of the year, and we simply cannot do it without your help.
Sponsoring a child for Christmas is not simply about the gifts in the bright red bags. It’s about expressing to a young person in foster care that their hopes and wishes matter, that they matter! It’s about coming together as a community to make Christmas a special time for children who need that hope the most.
We would love for you to join us this year as we share the magic and joy of the holiday season!
If you are interested in sponsoring a child for Christmas, or learning more about CASA of NWA, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a foster parent, biological parent, family member, or placement provider and need information about filling out a wishlist please contact email@example.com.