2016-12-23 / Front Page

Making the season Bright

More than 500 gifts collected for local foster children
By David Dore


Lindsey English and some of her helpers with the more than 500 items collected during a month-long drive to ensure foster children in Leominster and Fitchburg get a gift for Christmas. 
David Dore photo Lindsey English and some of her helpers with the more than 500 items collected during a month-long drive to ensure foster children in Leominster and Fitchburg get a gift for Christmas. David Dore photo It became hard to count all of the items that Lindsey English collected over the last month for a Christmas gift drive for local foster children.

“I was boxing things up for about five hours yesterday, sorting and boxing,” English said Monday night, “and I lost count at about 500.”

That is almost double the number of items collected last year, the first time the Leominster resident (in conjunction with the Girl Scout troop she led) did the drive. This year, because English is no longer a Girl Scout leader, she conducted the drive herself.

This year’s drive was so successful that foster children in not just Leominster, but Fitchburg as well, will benefit.

Jennifer Greene, area program manager for the state Department of Children and Families office in Leominster, said her agency and the local board that oversees it are “so pleased of Lindsey’s continued efforts to work with us, and we’re very appreciative of the Leominster community and the Fitchburg community for giving to all of the foster kids this holiday season, and we think it’s wonderful.”

The porch of English’s home was full of items for kids ranging in age from infants to 19, such as cologne, perfume, jewelry, bath sets, razors, art supplies, stuffed animals, trucks, makeup, fishing rods (two of them were donated) and basketballs.

English also received about $140 in monetary donations, which she said were used to buy gifts such as bath items and razors.

“I knew teenagers, some boys, they don’t even have that basic stuff to go into a house with, shampoo and a nice body wash,” she said. “They don’t have that.”

English, who was in the foster care system as a teenager, said she is aware of what foster children and foster parents are going through during the Christmas season. Foster parents could have children placed with them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and without a drive like this, those children might not receive a gift.

“Any foster parent who wants to have a toy in the Leominster-Fitchburg area was notified,” Greene said Monday night, “and they’ll be shopping from our office tomorrow and through the rest of the week, for either kids maybe they hadn’t shopped for yet, or kids that they may not even have yet, the need is so great.”

The North Central DCF office always needs new items such as diapers, infant wipes, pajamas, socks and underwear for foster children, Greene said. There is also a need for more foster parents, she added.

“We’re always looking for foster parents to increase the ability and the need for kids,” Greene said.

For more information on becoming a foster parent, or to donate items, call the DCF office at (978) 466-1500.

Return to top