Gifts needed so foster kids can have a Christmas

There are still about 500 foster kids in the state who won’t be getting gifts this Christmas.

Treehouse Marketing director Trent Freeman said Dec. 15 said 5,100 foster kids have received their “Holiday Magic” presents already.

“Please donate for the last few kids,” he said.

Jesse Colman, a marketing associate, said if people are tapped out they can always help next year.

“We go year-round,” he said. “We start saving money for next year.”

Colman said many businesses like to work with their communities on fund drives. To donate now or find out more go to www.treehouseforkids.org.

Sarah Mazur, an education advocate for Treehouse foster kids in Marysville and Arlington, said the gifts mean so much.

“It shows someone loves them; someone’s thinking about them” and making sure they have a holiday equal to others.

Mazur has about 30 clients in the two towns from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. She works with foster kids who are accepted into homes but who may be having issues with academics or behavior.

She said about 50 percent of her referrals are for behavior issues and the other half for academic problems.

Mazur said she enjoys helping the foster families.

“Foster kids sometimes go underneath the radar because they don’t have a consistent parent in their life to advocate for them,” she said.

Mazur said she values learing. “Everyone has an equal right to education,” she said.

Mazur supports the foster parents as a coach, maybe just showing them how to navigate the school system.

“The parents may have a new kid that they don’t know anything about,” she said. “They might not even know what the kid needs most.”

She also enjoys watching the caregivers become better advocates for the foster kids.

“I get to see the caregivers grow in their confidence,” she said.

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