Santa and Mrs. Claus delight Orange County foster children.

Santa and Mrs. Claus (portrayed by Tom and Betty Collins) delight foster children at a Christmas dinner at Lake of the Woods Church in Orange.

The Lake of the Woods Church was pleased to host the Orange County Foster Family Christmas dinner in December. The families enjoyed fellowship and food. The foster children played games and were visited by Santa, when each child received a Christmas gift.

According to Senior Associate Pastor Adam Colson and Elder Bill Fetzer, “The Foster Family Christmas dinner was one of the most heartwarming Christmas celebrations of the season. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the two elves were delightful … and the children had a wonderful time talking to Santa.”

Representatives of the Orange County Social Services Foster Care Department helped to organize the dinner and were enthusiastic participants in the festivities. Cheryl Lewis from the LOWC Women’s Guild arranged for gifts to be provided by guild members, and Vera Moody organized the dinner. Tom and Betty Collins represented Santa and Mrs. Claus. Other volunteers set up, cooked, served and enjoyed visiting with the families.

The Orange County Social Services Foster Care Department needs more foster family volunteers to support children who need safe havens during difficult times. The OCSS Foster Care Department reports: “There are about 24 children in foster care in Orange County. Children range in age from 5 months to 21 years old. Across the U.S, there are presently about 422,000 children in foster care. The average length of stay in foster care in the U.S. is 32 months. The first goal for every child is returning home. Workers and foster families work tirelessly to facilitate that process.”

OCSS provides financial support to enable the needs of these precious children to be met. Primary medical care and dental care are met through Medicaid. Training classes for potential foster parents and caregivers take place four times each year.

If you can provide loving support and a stable and nurturing home to meet the temporary needs of children who have been uprooted from their homes, contact The Lake of the Woods Church at 540/972-9060 or call the Orange County Social Services Foster Care Department at 540/672-1155.

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