By Heather Regula, Correspondent
There is an average of 600 children in foster care in Bell County each month, and there are plenty of needs and opportunities that arise to love and care for these kids. Candace Cartwright started the Facebook group Foster Love Bell County about 18 months ago, with that idea in mind.
“My initial thought was that this would be a group of mainly my friends and that we would make bags for children in foster care in Bell County,” said Cartwright.
“Foster Love Bell County has grown to over 1600 members and is on target to be a nonprofit organization by the end of the year. We have a board of eight volunteers, some identified goals, and we are working through the initial organizational building stages.”
“We serve Bell County by meeting the needs of foster children and those that love them” is the mission statement of Foster Love Bell County and the actions of the organization embody those words.
Christmas in July is a month-long fundraising project to help meet the needs of children in foster care in Bell County. Twenty-seven area businesses and churches have agreed to set up a Christmas tree in their building for the month of July. Foster Love Bell County volunteers decorated these trees with red, white and blue ornaments. Most businesses or churches provided the tree, and the printing of the Foster Love Bell County ornaments was generously donated by Presley Design Group, of Belton. An ornament can be taken from the tree, and a financial donation can be made by mail or online, following the directions on the card. All donations are tax-deductible and all monies raised will go towards helping children in foster care in our community, throughout the year.
Christmas in July trees can be found at the following locations:
Oppose Gravity Performance Training, Temple Bible Church, Nami Japanese Steak &Sushi (Belton and Temple locations), Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery, Grace Bible Church (Killeen), Callie’s, Pop-Abilities, Salado Glassworks, Rojo Salon, Good Life Bakery Cafe, Charming Charlie’s, Smile at the World Orthodontics, Pivot Performance Art, Kids Therapeze, First Baptist Church, Subway (Killeen and Harker Heights locations), Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, JKelley’s Salon, Pathways Counseling Center, Temple CPS office, That Art Place, Nathan Paul’s Deli, and Re/Max Temple/Belton Properties.
Individuals or groups interested in helping out can visit a Christmas in July tree location, email admin@fosterlovebellcountyorg, or join the Facebook group.