OK Foster Wishes in need of space to sort gifts for children

OKLAHOMA CITY - A mission focused on getting foster children gifts for the holidays is facing a major problem.

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy has taken over the OK Foster Wishes program but, right now, they don't have space to do it.

It's a pretty urgent situation. The OICA has to find space sometime in the next two weeks in order to fulfill the wishes of more than 5,300 children.

"So, we're in a dire situation," said Joe Dorman, CEO of the OICA.

The group has been in charge of the OK Foster Wishes program since October of last year - when it fell victim to an embezzlement scandal.

Dorman said they got lucky last year and were loaned free warehouse space from Feed the Children. The problem now is that building has been sold and they have nowhere to go.

"If we don't find a place, we're going to have to get very creative because it takes about 50,000 square feet to do this at the minimum," Dorman said.

DHS collects holiday wish lists from children in custody. The lists are given to OK Foster Wishes, which distributes them to kindhearted folks willing to help out.

Once gifts are donated, Dorman said it's vital to have the large space to sort them out, as it is a large operation - helping kids in nearly every county.

"We cover from Boise City to Idabel with this program," he said. "Instead of rolling back, we're trying to grow this program and reach more kids. So, we're hoping somebody out there will have that space available."

Dorman said they need a space where volunteers are free to come and go with heat, air and running water. He said they could pay for a location but they'd prefer to have space donated so all their funds could go toward the kids - so everyone is happy for the holidays.

"If a child comes into custody even the day before Christmas, we can make sure that they get some type of toy under the tree," he said.

If space is donated, it could be a tax write off.

If you're interested in helping, you can reach Joe Dorman at 405-236-5437 or jdorman@oica.org.

For more information on OK Foster Wishes and donating gifts, click here.