Communities donate gifts for foster children

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

In the season of giving, various members of communities in Pottawatomie County have donated items for foster children as part of the Snowflakes Foster Kids Toy Drive.  

According to Denise Frentz, Pottawatomie Child Welfare Supervisor, each year certain companies donate gifts to a toy drive for foster children in Oklahoma who make wish lists for Christmas.  

However, Frentz said when it comes to foster children in Pott. County who don't make wish lists, children that are newly taken into custody or children that are placed in trial reunification with their parents Frentz seeks assistance from communities for the Snowflakes Foster Toy Drive.  

"We just try to help them out and give them the best Christmas," Frentz said.  

This year Frentz said she wasn't sure people would be able to donate items due to COVID-19, but the response she's received has been overwhelming.  

Frentz said people can and have donated money and various items to the toy drive.  

This holiday season Frentz said there are about 25 children who will benefit from the toy drive.  

Frentz said about half of those children teenagers and would appreciate several different kinds of items, including thick blankets, robes, house shoes, wireless headphones, cameras or anything they can take with them when they go to a new home or age out of custody. 

"We accept donations year-round but we give any child that comes into custody in December enough for Christmas," Frentz said.  

In addition to herself, Frentz said her permanency workers and other members of her team deliver donations to foster homes.  

In fact, Frentz said without her team, especially the permanency workers and Child Protective Services, the children in custody wouldn't receive their gifts.  

Frentz said the children love receiving their gifts and she's grateful to the community this year for giving back despite the challenges 2020 has presented.  

"I feel like we're totally blessed. I didn't expect it. We're blessed to have people who stepped up," Frentz said.  

Donations are accepted year-round and Frentz said she's accepting holiday donations through December.  

To provide items, people can call (405) 878-4000 and leave their name and number to get in contact with Denise.