Conway, AR, Monday, December 17, 2018 — The Children’s Advocacy Alliance (CAA) hosted the annual Christmas party for foster children in Faulkner County in the first week of December at Bob’s Grill in downtown Conway. “I am so thankful for Bob’s Grill for allowing us year after year to use their facility so that these kids have a time to feel special,” said Jessica Hess, Court Appointed Special Advocate Supervisor.
Milk & Cookies with Santa is a time for each foster child and their foster family to meet Santa, talk to him about what they wish for this year, get a photo, enjoy crafts, and snacks.
“We give each child a stocking, filled with gifts, they get a stuffed animal and a blanket. The stockings were donated by donated by the UCA American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), which is just an amazing group. The kids light up when they are given their gifts by Santa’s Elf; it’s a really amazing event to be a part of,” said Heather Laferte, Court Appointed Special Advocate Recruiter Trainor.
“While the kids wait for their photos with Santa they are invited to decorate their own Christmas cookies and drink milk. It’s a small activity, but it has a big effect on creating a lot of smiles in the room,” said Laferte.
“The support for this event goes beyond those in the room we also received help from Conway High School students. Jennifer Park’s Family and Consumer Science and the Conway High School FCCLA chapter lead by Mika Bishop made all of the cookies for our foster kids. We also could not have done this event without the donated stockings from UCA,” said Hess “I love seeing the foster parents, DHS, CASA volunteers, just all of these people who have fought so hard for these kids having an opportunity to enjoy time around one another and with the kids; this is an event that is just 100% for the kids we serve, ” said Laferte.
“I helped take the photos of the kids this year and it was so precious seeing these kids just light up with joy and excitement to talk to Santa. These kids have been ones who are on my heart every day, hoping that they find joy. At this event, I get to see them truly joyful in a room filled with adults who want the exact same thing for these kids. I think that’s quite special,” said Hess.