Permian Basin area non-profits One Accord for Kids and The Attic Foster Network have partnered with the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) to ensure local children in Child Protective Service (CPS) and foster care receive Christmas gifts, despite the challenges of COVID-19.
In past years, CPS coordinated giving through Giving Trees in the Midland Park Mall and Music City Mall. Gifts were collected and distributed to CPS caseworkers at local DFPS offices. Through the CPS Giving Tree, over 400 local children in CPS and foster care received gifts last Christmas
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to this system including changes in how people are shopping this year and limits in CPS staff and office availability. According to Marci Leffler, DFPS Community Engagement Specialist for Region 9, “Due to COVID, we were very concerned that our traditional Giving Trees would not be able to support the needs this year. With that in mind we decided to try a virtual Giving Tree and we also knew more help would be needed to get the job done. One Accord for Kids and The Attic stepped up and we couldn’t be more grateful. Now we just need the community to help us provide gifts for these children.”
One Accord and The Attic were happy to step in and bring community support to the project. According to Brandon Logan, Executive Director of One Accord, “The only thing that has been consistent about 2020 is that it’s inconsistent. In these volatile times it is incredibly important that we stick together and take care of each other. The people of the Permian Basin are good at doing that.”
One Accord and The Attic Foster Network worked with CPS to expand opportunities for giving and shift collection, storage, and distribution of gifts. Together, they also launched www.pbgivingtree.org to provide online giving options.
Mid-Cities Community Church is offering a central location to store and distribute toys and clothes from the Giving Tree that can remain open with safety measures despite COVID-19. “We could not be happier that Mid-Cities has stepped up to help the with space to host and store Permian Basin Giving Tree toys. Of course, we call on all churches to help collect toys for these kids,” said Matt Waller, Executive Director of The Attic.
The community can help by visiting giving trees in Midland Park Mall (outside Dillards) or Music City Mall (near the carousel). Gifts should be purchased and dropped off in the mall by December 8 to ensure children receive them by Christmas morning. However, donations will be accepted through December 12. Online giving is also available at pbgivingtree.org.
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