A South Alabama non-profit is doing what it can to help foster children feel at home this Christmas and celebrate the holidays with their foster families.

Fostering Together Gulf Coast is holding a toy drive through December 9. The drive is called “Santa’s Workshop,” and the organization is asking for new, unwrapped toys to be donated.

Executive director Rachel Webb said the toys will be delivered to foster and adoptive families.

“We love the opportunity we get with the toy drive,” Webb told 1819 News.

The toy drive was so successful last year that Fostering Together had to rent a building for the toys this year. Webb hopes the community will participate just as passionately this year.

“We needed a bigger space this year because we anticipate serving just as many if not more kids this year,” she said. “It’s a big opportunity for us to help children have a special Christmas during what could be a hard time for them if they’re separated from their families.”

Last year, 1,500 gifts went to 489 children in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

While all ages are in need, Webb said there is typically a higher demand for teen gifts. The group has put together an Amazon Wish List with items that would be ideal for the drive.

SANTA WORKSHOP Alabama News

Webb said giving the children Christmas gifts is a reminder to them that they are not forgotten and they are loved.

“Obviously, we want children in foster care to experience as normal a childhood as possible so we don’t want their Christmas to be any different than any other child,” she said. “Christmas is a special season with lots of excitement and kids love getting gifts and seeing what they’re getting for Christmas.”

As a foster parent herself, Webb said along with the special memories, help from the community goes a long way for families who are housing children.

“When you have a lot of children in your home, it can be hard to purchase Christmas gifts for six, seven eight children,” she explained. “That is a really big expense, so for these families who have opened their homes to extra kids, it’s important for the community to come stand beside them and show they want their family to have a wonderful Christmas and it means a lot for them to know the community is supporting them.”

Donations can be dropped off at Fostering Together Gulf Coast, located at 3251 Old Shell Road in Mobile.

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