Charlton and Cassie Rigsby are now adoptive parents, but their journey began in 2012 when they started fostering the three girls. As part of their goal in loving and caring for the kids, they hoped to give them happy holiday memories.
“We wanted to make it something special for them,” Cassie said.
So they taught them their Christmas traditions.
“Whoever wakes up has to yell, ‘Merry Christmas!’ to get everybody in the house up,” she explained.
Then when the cameras are rolling, they’re allowed to come out from their rooms and look at what Santa brought them.
It's these moments, Joe Dorman with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy said volunteers hope to help create for children still in foster care.
“You can think back to your own days as a child – that special gift that you received,” Dorman told News 9. “We want to make sure that those kids also see that.”
Thousands of kids separated from their families have submitted holiday wish-lists.
Now, the OICA is working to cross of every item, in partnership with OK Foster Wishes and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
“They’ve only seen, in some cases, the worst conditions,” Dorman said. “So we as a state and as private organizations and people who care, we need to step up and give them those opportunities and here’s a perfect opportunity to start at Christmas.”
Unwrapped toys for children of all ages can be donated to the OICA office at 2915 N Classen Boulevard, Suite 320. Monetary donations can also be made to help fill the lists.