PARKERSBURG - For the third consecutive year, the Parkersburg Police Department is working with Try-Again Homes to collect gifts for children for the Christmas holiday.
The gift drive began Monday and will continue through Dec. 20, said Sgt. Greg Collins with the Parkersburg Police Department.
During the drive, new and unwrapped gifts for children can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Parkersburg Police Substation at City Park. Police volunteers and officers will be on hand to help with collection and coordination.
Try-Again Homes (TAH) is a nonprofit foster care agency in Parkersburg and Fairmont. TAH provides foster/adoptive homes for children ages birth to 18 years old, and is funded in part under an agreement with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
Foster homes are needed because of a variety of issues, including neglect and abuse (physical, emotional and sexual), alcohol and drug abuse and special medical circumstances. Adoptive homes are needed when it is determined that children cannot return or remain with biological parents and parental rights have been terminated, according to TAH.
On average, there are more than 3,000 children in need of quality foster/adoptive homes throughout West Virginia.
"Santa has forwarded us a list of requests from the children, and we have posted it on our website at www.parkersburgpolice.com," Collins said. "There is a substantial need at this time for winter clothes and shoes."
For more information, contact the City Park police substation at 304-424-0683 or Collins at the Parkersburg Police Department at 304-424-8444.
"The officers and staff of the Parkersburg Police Department are involved in cases all too often where children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care," Collins said. "It's very difficult to see a child's life turned upside down because of something that's not their fault. It is our sincere desire to give these children a wonderful Christmas, and at the same time support the families who have opened their hearts and homes to these deserving kids."
Collins said donations to the gift drive during the past two years have been generous and organizers hope that can continue this year.
"We are also very proud to announce that Zides Sport Shop has already committed to partner with this year's program, just as they did last year. Rod Zide and his staff were a major force in the success of last year's collection. We are thrilled to renew this partnership," he said.