by Madison V. Fisler
Oct. 30, 2013. The crisp and cold weather that is now hitting Boone can only mean one thing: the holidays are well on their way! With the holiday season comes the season of giving, with High Country residents and visitors stocking up on gifts for friends and loved ones.
However, there are some in the area who are notably less fortunate and in need of just a little help.
The High Country Caregiver Foundation needs the help of the High Country public once again for their “Holiday For Kids” fundraiser through the Relatives as Parents Program. The goal is to collect as many gifts as possible to relieve the burden on kinship caregivers during the holiday season.
Kinship caregivers, which are non-parental members of the family acting as caregiver to a child, are often overlooked as families in need during the holiday season. This program aims to help out these special families and provide children with a beautiful holiday season this year.
A toy drive will be held in Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties to collect gifts for children in these families and relieve the burden for the caregivers.
This drive is sponsored by the High Country Caregivers Foundation, The High Country Council of Governments and High Country Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP).
“With the toy drive we served 67 families last year in Avery and Watauga counties,” said Brenda Reece of the High Country Council of Governments.
“More than half of the kids in public schools are being raised in homes by someone other than their parents. It is grossly underreported and this is a really under served group of people. Kinship caregiving effects every relationship they have in their lives. Many people don’t realize how much these caregivers sacrifice,” she said.
The foundation is also accepting donations so that the children will be able to give the caregivers themselves something in return.
If you are a kinship caregiver and wish to receive assistance from this drive, please contact Brenda Reece at 828-265-5434 by Nov. 22.