DSS seeking sponsors for Christmas drive

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Beaufort County Department of Social Services is seeking sponsors for its Christmas present drive for foster children.

Last year, 130 foster children received presents through the drive. Lauren Riddick, a volunteer who helps facilitate the drive, said the demand last year was “very high.” As of now, DSS has received 117 requests for assistance for this year’s drive.

Foster parents submit lists of what their foster children want. Sponsors can call Riddick at 252-943-5643 to receive one of those lists and shop for the items. Riddick said those lists usually end up costing between $150 and $200.

Riddick said sponsors can ask to be paired with a boy or girls, or a certain age range, or they can ask for a random assignment.

Sponsors who want to contribute but don’t want to do the shopping themselves can send checks or money orders to the Washington Kiwanis Club. Checks should be made out to the Kiwanis Special Youth Fund and should be mailed to P.O. Box 2711, Washington, NC 27889.

“There are a lot of individuals that help, and a lot of churches participate,” Riddick said. “Some businesses will get together and sponsor a child together, or two or three.”

Because requests from foster families can keep coming weeks into December, here’s no hard deadline in place for signing up to sponsor a child. Riddick advises those interested in sponsoring to sign up as soon as possible, in order to give DSS workers and volunteers time to prepare the gifts for delivery.

“We’ve gotten it taken care of every year,” Riddick said. “People have been so generous and have done such a good job. It’s worked every year. We’ve never left anybody unsponsored.”