The pandemic (and derecho) aren't stopping the need to give kids in Eastern Iowa the holiday they deserve. In fact, it may be more important than ever.

It's never too early to think about Christmas when it comes to joining Families Helping Families of Iowa (FHF) in preparing to distribute toys to over 1,000 kids and their families across the foster system in Eastern Iowa. FHF holds an annual event where they partner with 40 businesses to create "giving trees" where customers and visitors can select a gift to purchase and donate to their cause. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, many of the businesses are closed or rearranging their operations with employees working remotely, so the "giving tree" concept is on hold.

They are instead taking their "Winter Wonderland Holiday Celebration" and toy drive mostly virtual. Take a look at their Amazon or Target shopping lists to pick out something to donate.  Donations will be collected through November 20 and can be shipped to the following address

Families Helping Families of Iowa, 3516 Center Point Road NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.

Monetary contributions will be accepted as well.

Their press release says the event is free for "children in foster care, relative or other approved placements, and those adopted from foster care". Pre-registration is required and is underway now, here. Foster parents and caregivers can register their families.

There are a number of other ways to donate to FHF families in need beyond this program. For more details, click here.

Call Executive Director Melissa Carlson at (319)294-9706 for further information.

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