Franklin County Children Services: A Closer Look for 2017

The season is upon us for children to excitedly anticipate ripping into heaps of gifts. After all, that’s part of being a kid.

Wait. That’s not entirely true. Some youngsters have literally nothing to open. But we’re working with Franklin County Children Services to change that. GETDOT will hold its final 2017 event (known as our “Extravaganza”) on December 7 to raise monies for Franklin County Children Services (FCCS).  All funds will be steered right into their Holiday Wish program, which is aimed at making sure as many kids as possible are given something of their own.

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.

And the children are getting more this year. After all, they deserve it!

“Our youth, 11 and under, receive $50 worth of gifts, and those 12 and over receive a $60 gift card. This was the first time we have increased the amount our youth receive since 1994,” Crabtree said. “It was time for an increase, but it is also a little scary because we serve 6,000 youth, which means we will need to raise $60,000 more in monetary donations and toys than we have in the past. We have also seen an increase in requests by about 25%. So we definitely have our work cut out for us!”

And you can help make that crucial difference! But how does that translate in real life?

Crabtree shared a story.

“We have kinship care providers who receive gifts through Holiday Wish. These are relatives or other individuals who have taken on the care and custody of youth who have come to the attention of our agency and need assistance to help maintain the children in their homes,” she explained.

A 60-year-old woman arrived at FCCS with custody of several grandchildren. When asked how she was doing, the woman broke down in tears.

“Her husband was in the hospital and would not make it through 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,” Crabtree recalled.

But what GETDOT did for the Holiday Wish program last year helped ease that unspeakable burden. FCCS officials were able to purchase a wonderful tree, decorations, and extra gifts for the kids.

Those who donated toward last year’s event couldn’t have any idea the true impact they had.  Perhaps you were one of them.

And there’s more.

“When I reached out to GETDOT’s board to share this and say thank you, I received a response I did not expect,” Crabtree said. “GETDOT’s board members started responding individually with monetary donations to purchase a holiday meal for the family and give them some extra support during this period of struggle.”

She was floored by GETDOT’s leadership’s commitment, their passion, and their dedication. And again,  compassion and leadership was also shown by so many members of the GETDOT community who rallied to make a difference at last year’s event.

The time has come again. Some kids are expecting Santa to fly right over them without a second thought. Some are in situations, through no fault of their own, where they can only imagine being blessed with gifts.

Let’s show them a brighter reality. They need to know we care.

We’ll see everyone at Juniper Rooftop on December 7th . . . starting at 5:00 p.m.!

Can’t make it? Still want to help out? You can!

  • Be matched with a specific child (FCCS had 2,643 requests this year — a 25% increase!)
  • Bring in any unwrapped toy(s) to the Holiday Wish workshop — located at 855 W. Mound Street Columbus, OH 43223
  • Make a monetary donation (which can be done with a check, cash or an online donation)


Chris Alexis
Chris Alexis
Chris Alexis is a writer by nature. By day, he's a marketing representative for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. Outside of work, he enjoys volunteering and penning a variety of articles for worthy causes, including GETDOT.