The Buncombe County Health and Human Services Wish Tree and Foster Wish List gift initiatives have become a cornerstone of the winter holidays for many Buncombe residents. Every year, our Adult Protective Services and Foster Care staff organize a community-wide gift drive for children in foster care, older adults, and adults with disabilities in Buncombe County. “Last year we provided gifts to 280 children in foster care and 150 older adults and adults with disabilities,” says Buncombe County Social Work Director, Rebecca Smith. “Thanks to our community and agency partnerships and resident sponsors, we have been able to spread cheer to our clients year after year.”
Roxann Sizemore, Adult Social Work Services Supervisor and Wish Tree Coordinator for Buncombe County Health and Human Services reflects, "I remember when the Wish Tree consisted of a few client wishes on a bulletin board. Over the last 15 years, we have continued adding community partners and identifying more older adults and adults with disabilities to support during the holiday season. I am so humbled by the overwhelming generosity I have witnessed through this program. I revel in the fact that many of our residents find joy in giving joy to others".
This season, our generous sponsors brought holiday cheer to 279 children in foster care and 133 older adults and adults with disabilities. “Seeing our resident, business, and staff sponsors deliver gifts for our clients is always emotional,” says Buncombe County Social Worker, Amber Cook. “There is kindness in the air every December, but seeing our sponsors deliver gifts reminds me that there is strength in community and power in coming together to care for one another.”
A Note From Stoney Blevins
Director of Buncombe County Health and Human Services
The holidays can be hard for a lot of people, children in foster care, older adults, and adults with disabilities in particular. Holidays are a time when family and friends gather together, show support for one another, and shower each other with love, kindness, and generosity. Each year, we can deliver the holiday spirit to children in foster care, older adults, and adults with disabilities through our wish tree gift drives. The expressions of joy and excitement on our client's faces as we deliver their gifts remind us of the true meaning of the holiday season, connection. Yes, the gifts are nice. But the real gift is feeling cared for and loved. That is what we deliver to our clients. Thank you to all of this year’s sponsors for delivering that experience to our clients.