OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The holidays will be here before you know it, but some foster families are already worried about providing for children in their care.

“The holidays are a time when we all naturally reflect on what is really important to us,” said Dr. Deborah Shropshire, OKDHS Child Welfare Director. “Stronger communities and families are so incredibly important to all of us, and an easy way to make a big impact is just to show someone you care. For children and families involved with the child welfare system, this caring and support can create a tipping point toward brighter futures and happy, healthy outcomes.”

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services says you can help spread a little holiday cheer by requesting a wish list or donating your time.

Oklahomans interested in donating or volunteering to Holiday Hope efforts this year may browse an interactive map to find opportunities in their home county or anywhere in the state.

“Each year we are blown away by the outpouring of support toward our Fostering Joy program,” said Christina Siemens, Executive Director of Fostering Connections. “Our communities step up to provide gifts to the children we serve without hesitation. Gifting a child who has experienced traumatizing events with presents from their own wish list is incredibly meaningful and important to a child who is celebrating the holidays in a place other than their natural home. Our goal is to help the child maintain a sense of normalcy during their time in the foster care system, and providing them with their own gifts from their own wish list helps spark a little joy in their hearts this holiday season.”

Families interested in learning more about foster care or applying to become a certified foster family may visit okfosters.org or call 1-800-376-9729.