CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) - Almost 800 children across Cleveland County will have a Merry Christmas, thanks to a nonprofit organization.
The Citizens Advisory Board is gathering gifts to send to hundreds of foster kids in the Cleveland County DHS system.
“A lot of these kids, this is the only time they've gotten what they requested for Christmas,” Citizens Advisory Board Treasurer Chris Fourcade said.
This year, they received a special request after hearing about Heather Prior, a woman with a heart of gold, facing some tough times.
“We did foster care for 10 years and these were just kids that had been with us and we didn't want them to go anywhere,” Heather Prior said.
She and her husband adopted seven children and have two of their own.
In October, Prior received some heart-wrenching news.
“Stage 4 cancer. It's rectal but it's moved to my lungs and lymph nodes,” Prior said.
She's going through aggressive treatments to fight her cancer.
But as you can imagine, the bills are stacking up. Despite her husband taking on extra shifts at work, it is tough to make ends meet especially during the holidays.
“I just thought this is heartbreaking to know she has nine children and a husband and now she has Stage 4 cancer. What is Christmas going to look like for them?” the family’s former DHS foster care worker Kellie White said.
Bicycles, a TV and lots of toys were donated by the Citizens Advisory Board to help during this difficult time.
“It's wonderful. It's wonderful. I don't know what the kids would get if it wasn't for them,” Prior said.
“It's just a miracle that it came to us in the first place. I hope that Christmas is special for them and I hope they have many, many Christmas's to come. I don't know the prognosis for Heather. I pray that it's total healing for her,” White said.