Valdosta - Although 325 foster children are registered in Lowndes County, only about a third of them are still living in the area. "We don't have enough foster homes in the county for all the children," says Case Manager Beth Mathis.
Families, brothers and sisters can sometimes be in different parts of the state just so they'll have a decent place to live. "We want to reunited families but its very hard to reunited them when the children are spread all over the place," she adds.
So the Valdosta Fire Department and Lowndes County Department of Family and Children Services are teaming up, in hopes of finding these kids a home nearby for the holidays. "So I got with the chief and he thought it was a great idea to have a Christmas party for them," says Sgt Leslie Brogdon of the Valdosta Fire Department.
Here potential foster parents can see the kids and speak to parents who have opened their hearts and homes to help the children grow. "You see a lot of their values change, you see them develop a self esteem, you see them make friendships," says foster parent Janice Inman.
But they say the children aren't the only ones touched by the program. "We found it made us better people, more loving, more caring and really appreciate the small things in life," she adds.
DFACS officials say they need an additional 60 families in the county to give these children the ultimate Christmas present.
To learn more about being a foster parent click here.