There has been a burst of LSS-Foster In Texas (FIT) activity before, during, and after the holidays around North Texas and the DFW Metroplex! Rebekah Poling, regional development director for North Texas, has been busy organizing, delivering, and cheerleading as congregations and individuals have gone above and beyond for our foster kids and their foster families. Rebekah summarized all the fun and flurry for us:
Calvary Lutheran Church in Richland Hills hosted their first annual “Run for the Hills,” a 1-mile fun run and 5K to benefit the city of Richland Hills and the LSS-Foster in Texas program in the DFW area. Despite the weather being a little chilly, the run was a success – a great residential trail with about 100 participants. Afterwards, BBQ, awards, music, and fellowship awaited those who finished. Because of Calvary’s hard work, LSS-FIT will receive over $1,500, including a generous sponsorship gift from Kohl’s through their Kohl’s Cares program.
Vroom, vroom … A motorcycle group from Peace Lutheran Church in Hurst called the “Peace Riders” have been supporting LSS children’s services for years. Throughout the year, they hold raffles, cookouts, rides, and other special events to raise money for their annual “LSS Toy Run,” which benefits children served by the LSS-Foster in Texas program in North Texas.
In 2013, the Riders raised over $4,000 to purchase toys and goodies for the FIT Christmas parties that benefited 130 children. The Riders make Christmas extra special by arriving to deliver the gifts right to the Christmas party.
Christmas Parties! For the FIT Program in the DFW Area
More than 1,080 gifts (!) were collected and ready for foster kids in the DFW-area to open on Christmas morning. We celebrated Christmas with the kids at three big parties:
Richardson/Denton/South Dallas families had a Merry Christmas with Santa, BBQ, cake, personalized stockings, gifts, games and crafts.
Fort Worth/mid-cities families celebrated with Santa, Mexican food, a buffet of goodies, crafts, gingerbread house-making, sports, a photobooth, and a performance by the Krum High School Band.
East Dallas families partied at the Forney Gentle Zoo with food, presents, and personalized stockings. Gift cards had been donated for each of our families to enjoy a family meal out together during the holidays, with additional gifts, treats, and enough blankets donated to our offices to carry us into next year.
There were so many congregations, people, and groups who helped us make this a great Christmas for the kids we serve. A big THANKS to:
These churches participated in the Angel Tree, ensuring that every LSS-FIT child in North Texas had gifts to open on Christmas morning: St Peter Lutheran in Bowie, Lord of Life in Plano, Redeemer LC Fort Worth, St Mark Mineral Wells LC, Bethel LC Dallas, Lamb of God Flower Mound, Rejoice LC Frisco, Grace LC Mart, Our Redeemer LC Dallas, Crown of Life Colleyville, King of Glory LC Dallas, Grace LC LifeLight Arlington, St John LC Mansfield, Holy Cross Arlington, Our Savior Rockwall, Gloria Dei Carrollton, Cross of Christ DeSoto, St Peter LC Roanoke, Rejoice Coppell, St Paul FTW, Faith Grand Prairie, Shepherd of Life Arlington, Beautiful Savior Arlington.
These individuals who volunteered to cover last-minute wishes from kids who came into our care just before Christmas with not enough time to get their wishes to the churches, and individuals who, through their financial partnership, made our Christmas festivities possible for the families: Cindy and Gordon Bailey, Faye Morton, Kyleigh McLeod, Todd and Lisa Nieberger, Josh and Amanda Heal, Johnny Miller and Terry Chase, Bill and Michelle Niederstadt, Jordan Baird and family, John and Lisa Kelsey, Amber Watkins and friends, Michelle and Chris Schneider, Jason and Allison Mull, Mark and Kristen Etheredge, Gary Halberstadt, Keith and Suzanne Kaminsky, and Meredith Lightfoot and Richard Rohrman.
There were also groups and organizations that donated and volunteered to make each Christmas event a success: Peace Motorcycle Riders, National Charity League Richardson, Calvary Lutheran Church, Foodtronix, Hope for North Texas, JHG, Ryan Inc., Krum High School Band, Christina Trester, Zion Lutheran Church, and Rejoice Lutheran Church.