GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of coast children are hoping a Christmas miracle will bring them a permanent family. The Rock Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping foster children, says there are 758 children in foster care in Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson counties. Officials say they're having trouble finding qualified foster parents.
This weekend in Gulfport, the Rock Foundation had a Christmas party for foster children. Brad Newsome and his wife brought 17-month-old Eli. They say fostering and then later adopting him has been a blessing for their family.
"The biggest reward is just being able to get the kids and just to see their smiles. To make a difference in their lives," said Newsome.
Santa Claus handed out lots of toys and stocking stuffers to hundreds of children living with foster families or at shelters. However, the Rock Foundation says what these kids really want can't be wrapped and put under a tree.
"The most important thing is for these children to find a home," said Magdelena Holland, Rock Foundation board member. "The gifts are awesome, but they really need a home. There are so many children that still don't have anywhere to go. "
"Christmas and family go hand in hand. So giving Christmas without the family, that's pretty sad. These children want a family so bad. Some of them on their Christmas lists put 'I want a family. I just want a family.'"
Foster parents say every child deserves love so they're encouraging families to consider fostering or adopting.
Charlotte West, a foster parent, said, "When you see children who have been abused and they are adopted, they come back and see you. It's a reward. It's just like a mother's heart beating so fast. So proud of them to see how they have blossomed and grown into nice young adults."
"There are several families in our church now that are now foster parents,"said Newsome. "It's a blessing. They're getting real involved in the foster care system. I challenge anyone to pray about it and to be able to step out and do foster care."
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent please call your local Department of Human Services office. @@
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