Heartwarming Holiday Moments - Medina County Job and Family Services

Heartwarming Holiday Moments

Layne Hedden December 28, 2023

Working in the foster care system can be hard, but we also have the privilege of witnessing some truly beautiful moments where our community steps up to love and care for the children within the system. We get to see a lot of those heartwarming moments around the holidays, and we want to share some of those inspiring stories from this holiday season with you.

  • Apryle and her husband contacted us asking for wish list information for two children, preferably siblings. When she found out we had a sibling group of four, she immediately offered to shop for all four children. She and her husband opted to shop for children in foster care rather than buying gifts for each other this year. What a kind, selfless act!
  • For the second year in a row, Boy Scout Troop 701 from Strongsville filled wish lists for five children. They do an amazing job of working together to fill every requested item (and much more) for the children!
  • Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority held a “jeans day” fundraiser throughout the year. Employees could wear jeans on specific days if they donated to the “jeans day fund.” The employees then voted on where to donate those dollars… and chose our holiday gift program! We are so honored!
  • Jen’s Play n’ Learn Home Childcare holds a walk-a-thon fundraiser each year. This year they decided to use the funds to purchase items from our Amazon List, which were wish list items for children in foster care in Medina County. They raised almost $1000 and were able to purchase a very large number of items from our List!
  • Last year, one of our staff members took her then 5-year-old grandson to the store and gave him $50 to choose items for our Toy Drive in November. She explained to him who the toys were for and helped him budget the money as he selected items. This year, when the holidays rolled around, her grandson remembered and asked, “When are we going to go shopping for the kids?” What a great way to teach a young child compassion and generosity… and throw in some math skills at the same time!
  • About 2 weeks before our deadline to have all gifts purchased, we still had ten children’s wish lists that had not been sponsored. Grace Church Medina East Campus reached out to see if we still needed donors. Within 48 hours, nine donors had stepped forward to fill all ten remaining lists. We were overwhelmed by the desire to serve others displayed by Grace Church! 

We also wanted to share some of the special efforts and collections we loved from local groups this year:

  • The Children’s Center of Medina County coordinated a collection of pajamas so that we would be able to include a cozy pair of pajamas with each gift we delivered to our kids.
  • A group from the Cleveland Clinic Medina ICU organized a book drive so that we would have books to include with each gift. This same group also volunteered to come wrap all the gifts for our foster family holiday event. This year they wrapped over 500 gifts and amazed us with their efficiency, skill, and fun holiday vibes!
  • First Baptist Church of Medina coordinated a collection of items specifically geared toward our older kids and teens. We typically receive fewer gifts for this age group, so this targeted effort has a huge impact! They also collected more than $2000 in gift cards!
  • Judge Dunn’s Juvenile Court, Build-a-Bear, and Medina County Board of Development Disabilities Achievement Center partnered together to build and donate adorable bears for children in foster care. These bears bring so much joy!
  • Both the Medina Domestic Court and Medina Adult Probation coordinated efforts to participate in our Toy Drive, purchase items from our Amazon List, and collect gift cards for our holiday gift program.
  • Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Medina collected more than $3000 in gift cards for us to use for children in foster care in Medina. Gift cards are incredibly useful for us to be able to shop for last-minute gifts when children enter the foster care system close to the holidays. We also like the ability to give gift cards to our teens and provide them with the option to choose some things for themselves.

These are just a handful of our favorite stories from the 2023 holidays. Medina County is an amazing community, and we are so grateful for the support and love we have seen throughout this year and especially this holiday season. We look forward to partnering with our community again in 2024. Thank you!

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Medina County
Job and Family Services
232 Northland Drive
Medina, OH 44256
Office: (330) 722-9300
Toll Free: (800) 783-5070 
Fax: (330) 722-3383

Phone: (330) 722-9398
Toll-Free: (800) 706-2732
Fax: (330) 722-9238
Email: medina_child_support_01@jfs.ohio.gov
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