Foster Children Given The Opportunity To Buy A Gift For A Special Person

Young shopper Gabby with the gifts she bought.

A local coalition of holiday elves from Speak Up for Kids, CMI Electrical, Marine Plumbing and the Royal Palm Beach Target store joined forces on Monday, Dec. 14 for Better to Give, an epic shopping event for 100 children involved in dependency and foster care.

“I continue to be in awe of our community,” said Coleen LaCosta, executive director of Speak Up for Kids. “I recognize how blessed we are to do the work we do, but without the support of individual and business contributions, our impact would not be as great as it is.”

Though many find it a chore or take for granted the ability to buy a gift for a special person during the holiday season, children in foster care do not often get the opportunity to buy for someone they love. With Better to Give, each child was partnered with a shopper and given $50 to shop for anyone who has impacted their life in a profound way.

The children searched the aisles to choose gifts for foster parents, case managers, siblings, parents, grandparents and their guardians ad litem. They were then ushered into the wrap room, where Target elves and volunteers were on hand to help them choose the perfect wrapping paper and bows, expertly wrapping the presents to make the gift extra special.

“Last year, I helped a little boy shop for his foster parents, and I watched as his foster dad shed tears of gratitude,” volunteer Dorothy Alvarez recalled. “I knew I had to participate again this year, and now I am excited about next year’s Better to Give.”

LaCosta said that the program is needed now more than ever.

“The pandemic has certainly made this year a whirlwind, but COVID-19 could not halt generosity in Palm Beach County or take the cheer out of the holiday season for the children we serve,” she said. “Though their smiles were hidden behind masks, the joyous sparkle in their eyes remained undeniable.”