When Kurt Holden, director of public safety at Wright State University, and his brothers Kris and Kyle were growing up in foster care, they would often go for months without seeing each other, missing out on many of the things other children took for granted, especially around the holidays.
Ten years ago the brothers created Fostering Ohio, a nonprofit organization that assists foster children after emancipation and families in need.
Throughout their childhood, the Holden brothers would be placed in numerous foster homes, with Kris moving into his eighth address before high school.
“All I looked forward to was getting visitations with my brothers,” said Kris Holden, who attended Wright State in 2007 and majored in business management.
This absence was felt even more during the holidays. In addition to missing each other’s company, they often missed out on presents under the tree, as many children in the foster care system do.
“A lot of times me and my brothers only received the necessities, socks, t-shirts and underwear,” said Kurt Holden.
Through Fostering Ohio, the brothers try to help as many Dayton area foster children as they can to have the Christmas they deserve, by collecting donations and purchasing toys on their wish lists.
“This is an excuse to get together and do something really awesome and spend some quality time together,” said Kurt Holden.
Fostering Ohio has helped several hundred children over the past 10 years. This year’s goal is to raise $10,000 but they say that doesn’t fill the need of the 15,000 children that are in foster care in Ohio.
“We haven’t really scratched the surface on the need that’s out there. So, every year we’re trying to grow and aim to do something even bigger,” said Kyle Holden.
The brothers will deliver gifts to 50 children and four families on Christmas Eve. The Wright State community has donated almost $1,500 to Fostering Ohio this year.