Franklin County Children Services: A 2016 Closer Look

img_4622You can grant a holiday wish for a deserving kid this year. It’s almost too easy.

GETDOT will hold its final event (known as our “Extravaganza”) on December 1 to raise monies for Franklin County Children Services (FCCS).  All funds will be steered right into their Holiday Wish program.

FCCS is a public agency charged with ensuring the safety, permanency and well-being of the children in our community in a manner that respects culture, family and community, said Elizabeth Crabtree, FCCS Director of Volunteers and Holiday Wish.

Part of solidifying that well-being is providing for the needs of both children and families beyond what would be considered as simply “basic needs.” In fact, it’s one of the reasons Holiday Wish was founded back in 1963.

“Our agency and community wanted to provide children being served by Franklin County Children Services with gifts for the holidays,” she said. “Not only did they want to provide them with gifts, but grant wishes by giving children toys that they had specifically requested. These are children who might not have otherwise received a gift for the holidays and have usually had life experiences that have taken some of the magic out of their childhoods.”

The dollars raised by GETDOT will go directly to FCCS children, as there is no overhead cost with Holiday Wish.

“We use the money to provide $50 gift cards for youth over 12 years of age and purchase Kroger gift cards to allow families to purchase something special for their holiday meal,”Crabtree said.

“The money might also go where it is needed most,” she added.

She recounted his experience with GETDOT last year to illustrate a larger point.

“Our relationship with GETDOT is a little hard to put into words. Yes, they have brought Children Services great donations over the years, but it is more than that. In part because we have such a great time when we come to the event, but also because there is definitely a strong sense of connection with this group that reaches back to our families,” she recalled. “For example, last year I contacted GETDOT to say thank you for their support. We had grandparents who have custody of their grandchildren come pick up gifts the second week of December. These are families that quality for our Kinship Aftercare Program. This meant not only did they have custody of grandchildren who had some difficult life experiences when in their parents’ care, but they also met the 300% poverty guideline.”

“One of the women who came in was a 60-year old with custody of several grandchildren,” she continued. “When asked how she was doing, she broke down in tears. Her husband was in the hospital and would not make it to the holidays. He was the only father figure many of her grandchildren had ever known.  In the midst of all of this, she was informed that she was being laid off. As a social worker, there is only so much that I can do. FCCS can assist with things like purchasing clothing and food, but this family needed more than the basics, they needed some holiday magic.”

What happened next demonstrates why GETDOT remains in the business of helping others.

“Because of GETDOT’s amazing donation last year, I had the ability to give this family a little holiday cheer,” Crabtree recounted. ‘We were able to purchase a wonderful tree, decorations, extra gifts for the kids and provide a wonderful holiday meal. But it goes beyond the tangible. Every time this family puts up this tree they will be reminded that they are not alone. There is a big community of amazing people out there who care about them, even if they have never met.”

We’re all in this together.

“When I think about GETDOT and the relationship with FCCS, situations like this immediately came to mind. It’s one of many instances that demonstrate when caring people come together, lives are impacted in a very meaningful way,” she said.

GETDOT recognizes and values you as one of those caring people. Please, come join us on December 1 at Tequila Cowboy (1069 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240). Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

And remember, you can bring a new (unwrapped) children’s toy as a donation. We’ll also have a silent auction and you can see what items have been secured for bidding by clicking here!

Chris Alexis
Chris Alexis
Chris Alexis is a writer by nature. By day, he’s a content design specialist at ECOT – Ohio’s first and largest online school. Outside of work, he enjoys volunteering and penning a variety of articles for worthy causes, including GETDOT.