For many of us this is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be one of the toughest times for foster parents and their foster kids.
In Redmond there’s a place that hopes to help. Candy Cane Lane helps foster families in our region stress less.
Michelle Nein has been taking in foster kids for ten years and said sometimes she’s had kids come to her just days before Christmas, and many come with almost nothing to call their own.
Situations like this make being a foster parent stressful, especially when you’re trying to give your kids a nice Christmas.
Candy Cane Lane helps that stress melt away by giving foster parents the chance to Christmas shop for free.
“By having this event, it really just helps us give them the best Christmas possible,” said Nien. “Especially if maybe it’s the first time they’ve had a Christmas or it also helps them make it through the holidays when they’re not with their families. Which is a really tough thing to have to do.”
Candy Cane Lane provides a minimum of three gifts, plus stocking stuffers, easing the financial burden foster families may face this time of year.
“This event really does allow us to have a little more flexibility with our budget,” said Nein, “and to just really splurge on kids and make them feel you know as happy as possible at the holidays.”
Foster parents can pick up gifts for kids of all ages and genders. Candy Cane Lane can help over four hundred kids in one place and just in time for the holidays.
“We just really try and do it as close to Christmas as we possibly can to just help make sure that they have everything that they need going into the holidays,” said Jamie Giannettino, the project coordinator of Candy Cane Lane.
When foster parents shop at Candy Cane Lane they can worry less about shopping and more about the kids they’re caring for.
“It really just frees me up to be able to spend more time with them, and to be able to you know help them enjoy it and maybe worry a little bit less and just be a child through the holidays,” said Nein.