JOPLIN, Mo. — On Thursday morning, Joplin’s 15th Street Walmart sold thousands of dollars worth of toys.
The shopping was done by officials with the local nonprofit “Fostering Hope”—which helps hundreds of area foster children.
They had plenty of help from a whole lot of volunteers—more than 150, in fact—including some local high school students. This is part of Fostering Hope’s annual “Christmas of Hope” program which will provide toys and other items to hundreds of area foster kids this year.
“We’ve got 653 kids signed up through our program this year, which is way more than we’ve ever had. We expected about 600, so we’re way above that. Today is the day where we shop for everybody. We partner with One Church in Joplin and they host a party for the families. So they’ll actually come out this weekend and pick up their gifts, and all their gifts are enclosed in bags so it’s not like the kids get the gifts that day. The parents get to take ’em home and stick ’em under the tree for Christmas,” said Sarah Burch, Fostering Hope.
The “Christmas of Hope” program has helped provide gifts and necessities to area foster kids for the past 15 years.