Adoption Awareness

Students donate $4K toward gifts for foster children
Posted on 02/01/2022
Dairian Lovell, Blayne Bell, Lukas Ethridge, Maria Young, Nora Adams and Gabe Thompson.

Students across the Poplar Bluff School District helped collect over $4,000 in coins to ensure area children who recently entered foster care received Christmas presents.

“When kids and teens come into care near Christmas, a holiday filled with things they want can give them a short break from the sad reality of being separated from their families,” explained Mary Haldeman, FosterAdopt Connect program director. “In addition to gifts for children just entering foster or relative care near Christmas, gift cards for caregivers to purchase items the kids likely need until the monthly stipends begin coming is helpful to the families.”

Haldeman, who taught for several years in the R-I school system prior to her involvement with the organization, reached out to educators in November to help raise funds through National Adoption Awareness Month. All students from grades K-12 agreed to participate, with the youngest grade levels producing the most pocket change.

FosterAdopt Connect offers advocacy and support for foster families, as well as provides licensing services and training. The nonprofit additionally operates Sammy’s Window, a second-hand shop, that supplies free clothing, personal hygiene products and more to children in foster care.

Due to the fundraiser's success during its inaugural year, Haldeman said she hopes to make it an annual tradition. For more information about the social services organization, visit


Cutline: Pictured with Dairian Lovell of FosterAdopt Connect and O’Neal counselor Gabe Thompson, students (left to right) Blayne Bell, Lukas Ethridge, Maria Young and Nora Adams display special bookmarks recently distributed by the nonprofit.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.