PCHAS receives donations for the children in foster care.

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services (PCHAS) is distributing gifts to children in the foster care system, from churches in Ellis County and surrounding areas.

Founded by a church in 1903, PCHAS has had support from many churches ever since its beginning.

"That is always a choice of each church; we are not guaranteed financial support or in-kind support from them. We also get funded by individuals, foundations and other sources," shared Noreen O'Brien, Manager of Communication and Government Contracts at PCHAS.

Here is UPC's "Warming Tree" with red bags of pajamas and slippers.

In Waxahachie, 40 children are in the Single Parent Family program, according to O'Brien. The program helps low-income families who are getting back on their feet and living on the PCHAS campus for about a year. The program's intention is to keep families together while the single parent becomes more self-sufficient.

Through the "Warming Tree" of United Presbyterian Church in Cleburne, Laurie McKinstry, the Director of Christian Education, organized her church to gather 40 pajama and slipper combinations for the children of the Waxahachie Single Parent Family Campus. 

PCHAS employee Kathy Dodson shared that other organizations were also stepping up to help during the holidays.

"The Whitney Rascals Car Club from Hill County drove their classic cars through the Itasca campus on the 5th," Dodson said. "Our kids stood outside and waved with gratitude for the goodies that they dropped off (to be distributed later). The families also enjoyed a drive-through visit from a motorcycle club, Guardians of the Children (partners with the chapter in Grove). The club brought a fuzzy new teddy bear for every child, along with games, puzzles, toys and sweet treats, which we'll distribute next week. We are extremely grateful for such generosity." 

Additionally, churches in Cleburne, Milford, Lake Jackson and Aledo gave to the program this year. 

In Cleburne, United Presbyterian Church provided pajamas and slippers for all 55 children on the Waxahachie and Itasca campuses, plus two young adults aging out of foster care. 

In Ellis County, the employees of Hunting Titan of Milford, TX, filled a cargo van with baby dolls, bikes, winter clothing. and etc. for the program.

From this giving, 33 children in Itasca and in the Child and Family programs in Keller and Lubbock, will benefit. 

In Lake Jackson, Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church collected clothing and other gifts for children in Itasca's Foster Care Village. Leslie and Tom Poole drove all the way to the Foster Care Village in Itasca on Dec. 12, to deliver a truckload of Christmas presents for the children and youth.

Additionally, in Aledo, Faith Aledo Presbyterian Church gathered Christmas gifts for 18 children in PCHAS' Wichita Falls therapy program. Organizer Nikki Short and other members filled a cargo van to grant the wishes of these children.  

According to a news release, every year, PCHAS helps about 4,500 children in Texas, Louisiana and Missouri. They aid children through counseling, foster care and adoption.