‘When we make healing possible for a child and their family, we give them the greatest gift of all — hope.’
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — This November 1 through December 30, Central Oregonians can donate gift cards and cash towards KIDS Center’s annual Gift Card Drive. The drive supports healing for local children who have experienced abuse, by reducing some of the stress and financial pressure on their family.
“Child abuse has the potential to upend a household and quickly throw a family into crisis,” explains Riley Broderick, one of KIDS Center’s Family Advocates. Giving a family gift cards — so they can purchase food, clothing and fuel—can make a world of difference.
“By helping a family meet their basic needs, we can ease stress at home and speed a child’s healing process,” says Broderick.
Gift cards to local grocery stores, big box stores, and gas stations are most helpful for families, according to the family advocates who serve them.
This holiday season, KIDS Center encourages holiday shoppers to pick up an extra gift card for a local family.
“People can mail a gift card to KIDS Center, or simply stop by and leave it in the drop box by our front door,” explains Ginger Theis-Stevens, the nonprofit’s Director of Marketing and Development.
KIDS Center staff decorate the drop box with lights each year, so the public can find it easily, even on a dark winter’s night. KIDS Center is located on Bend’s westside at 1375 NW Kingston Ave, Bend OR 97703.
You can also donate online to the Gift Card Drive and KIDS Center will purchase gift cards on your behalf. Visit https://give.kidscenter.org/giftcard or make a donation to KIDS Center through Venmo (@kidscenter).
Last year, KIDS Center’s Gift Card Drive raised $5,465 in gift cards. While the drive is seasonal, the need is year-round.
“We try to raise a year’s worth of gift cards in just two months,” explains Theis-Stevens, “and this year, we hope the community will be even more generous.”
KIDS Center’s Family Advocates have noticed a steep increase in families’ needs over the last year.
“Many of the families we serve are living on the edge, and it’s so important to give a child and their family stability during their recovery,” says Theis-Stevens. “When we make healing possible for a child and their family, we give them the greatest gift of all — hope.”
Several local businesses are participating in this year’s Gift Card Drive, by setting up counter displays and giving trees to make it easy for customers to join in.
Visit these businesses this November and December: Alliant Systems, Horizon Broadcasting Group, Struble Orthodontics (Bend office), TeaCupFuls, The Bend Store, and First Interstate Bank branches in Bend, Redmond and Sunriver.
About KIDS Center: Built by the community in 1994, KIDS Center is a local non-profit leading our region’s response to child abuse. KIDS Center is where hope and healing begins for children and families who have experienced abuse. KIDS Center provides independent child abuse evaluations, therapy and family advocacy—at no cost to families.
Information about KIDS Center can be found at: kidscenter.org or by calling (541) 383-5958.
Anyone with a concern about a child’s safety can call the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline at: 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).