TAMPA, Fla. - A group of foster moms are coming together to make Christmas better for Bay Area kids.
"'Christmas for Fosters’ is an amazing program that provides Christmas gifts for foster children in the Tampa Bay area and along the Sun Coast region as well," explained program founder Sarah Weaver.
Foster parents receive a small stipend from the state of Florida, but not enough money to buy Christmas gifts for their children.
"That's what inspired me to create ‘Christmas for Fosters’, to relieve our foster families of that financial burden, but to also bless the children that are in that home and just to give joy on that Christmas morning," Weaver explained.
Kids create a wish-list of items and participants go on to the website and select a child that they go shopping for.
"If we can just give joy and spark joy, make joy on Christmas morning for those kids. I know it will mean everything to them," explained Weaver.
Foster parents like Liz Aguler are so thankful for this program.
"It's just so exciting Christmas morning for them to have a huge pile of gifts to open and see that joy and to know that it's not just from your family but it's from other people that have wrapped around you."
Foster parent Christina Eben agrees, "Their mommas who come to pick up these gifts and their crying. They’re just in awe of the generosity of a complete stranger."
Weaver started the program four years ago.
"One of my most favorite things to do is just to give gifts and to make people happy so being able to organize a huge community effort like this is the best Christmas gift ever.”
The first year, they served 87 kids and this year they have more than 275 foster children that need help.
"Right now we need 70 kids that still need sponsors. We get about two to three kids a day up until the day of pick-up and even after that," Weaver said.
A community coming together to make a merry Christmas for children who need it most. Weaver says anyone who doesn't have time to shop can go online, make a donation and they will do it for you.
LINK: Click here for more information or to make a donation.