Making Christmas merry for foster kids
Each Christmas, hundreds of foster children gather at Fondren Church in Jackson to play games, eat dinner, receive gifts, and hear a story about the birth of Jesus Christ. While this year’s celebration will look different due to COVID-19, Fondren Church is working hard to pull of its fifth annual Christmas party for children in the Hinds County foster system.
The church started this tradition in 2016 when they learned that while other counties across the state put on yearly holiday parties for foster children, Hinds County didn’t have a party. There were more than 500 children in the Hinds County system at the time, compared to fewer than 100 in surrounding counties. According to the state Department of Child Protection Services, they were never able to find a group who could throw a party for that many kids. Fondren Church decided to try.
They partnered with a local nonprofit the first year, and the party was a huge success. Now it has become a staple event on the Fondren Church calendar. With the help of dozens of volunteers, each year the church is able to create a night where these children who have been through so much can play, laugh, sing, eat, and just be kids. At the end of the event, the church gives each child who attends a present, and every family that attends a Kroger gift card.
In order to keep families safe and socially distanced this year, the church will host a drive-in movie for the children in place of the party on Thursday, Dec. 10. This will allow everyone to stay in their own vehicle, but still have a fun night for the kids.
The church is mailing Kroger gift cards to Hinds County foster families, and will still give gifts to the kids who attend the movie.
If you would like to learn more about the event, or donate to help provide gifts, please visit fondrenchurch.com.