November 23, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO
Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Telephone: (405) 833-1117
OK Foster Wishes Continues in 2020
Process Will Be Different to Protect Donors, Volunteers, and Foster Children
OKLAHOMA CITY – For the last four years, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) has coordinated with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) to collect gift donations for the state’s children in foster care under the program called OK Foster Wishes.
Like just about every other facet of life, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing organizers to make changes to the program to protect donors, volunteers, and the state’s foster children.
“The pandemic has forced Department of Human Services caseworkers to work remotely, making gift delivery nearly impossible,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s CEO. “Also, having our volunteers work in close contact in the warehouse where the gifts are normally gathered would violate social distancing requirements.”
As such, OKDHS has asked OICA to assist in collecting donations for gift cards rather than actual gifts. OICA has been tasked to raise 2,500 gift cards in the amount of $75 each to give to foster families to purchase the gifts themselves. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at okfosterwishes.org.
“We are disappointed we will be unable to help coordinate the distribution of lists, as well as the gathering and delivery of the toys to foster families,” said Miranda Hines, OICA’s director of OK Foster Wishes. “Still, we are dedicated to ensuring as many foster children as possible receive gifts despite the pandemic.”
OK Foster Wishes has helped bring significant awareness to foster care in our state, putting a face to the kids in care and recruiting families for them. The pandemic has not diminished the need, and both OICA and OK Foster Wishes remain “all in” on raising awareness and support.
While donors and foster children will not be able to connect through the “wish lists,” OICA will again work with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to use their “ShareThanks” program to allow donors the ability to see anonymous “thank you” notes on social media from foster families receiving the gift cards.
“We hope you will still be a part of this important endeavor to support these young Oklahomans and make a gift possible through the donation of money for a gift card,” Dorman concluded. “OICA and OK Foster Wishes is deeply grateful for donors’ past support, and we hope we can count on them again this year!”