Article Contributed by
G.A. Family Services
G.A. Family Services Foster Care Program has announced that they will be hosting their first annual Kids Carnival on Sunday, May 19, in cooperation with Raymour and Flanigan in Jamestown. The Kids Carnival is free, open to all families, and is being held in celebration of National Foster Care Month.
The Kids Carnival will be held from noon to 4:00 pm in the Raymour and Flanigan parking lot and inside the showroom at 1001 Fairmount Avenue at the Jamestown-Lakewood town border.
“We’re very excited to host this event for the families in the area,” said Kara Kloss, Family Resource Coordinator. “We wanted to do something to celebrate the love that families share with their children and hosting the event during National Foster Care Month means a lot to us. We’re blessed that Raymour and Flanigan has agreed to help,” said Kloss. The staff of the foster care program hope to raise awareness for the growing need of foster homes in Chautauqua County.
The event itself will feature yard and carnival games, bounce house, raffles, face painting, fire truck and ambulance tours with the Celoron Volunteer Fire Department, music, chicken dinners, and more. The foster care program will also have adoptable stuffed animals available on a first come, first served basis.
“This stuffed animal adoption is something we wanted to do to explain adoption and foster care to children in an easier way,” said Kloss. Families can “adopt” a stuffed animal companion to bring home and play with. It also gives the foster care staff an opportunity to explain the benefits and resources available for those interested in fostering or adopting children in need from the community.
According to the most recent federal data, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States ranging from infants to 21-year-olds in some states. G.A. Family Services Foster Care Program and others like it help provide interested parents or families with the right resources and information to bring these children into their home either temporarily or permanently.
“We are a great resource for anyone wanting to foster, adopt, or just learn how they can help,” said Ericka Garcia-Allison, Director for Community Based Services. “There are a lot of misconceptions about foster care and adoption. We encourage anyone with questions to get ahold of us to learn more. Having the right information can make a huge impact for us, our program, and especially for the children of Chautauqua County who need a little help,” said Garcia-Allison. The G.A. foster care office receives an average of 4-5 phone calls a day with referrals of local children in need of a safe, loving home.
To get involved or learn more about the Kids Carnival, foster care, or adoption of local children in Chautauqua County, visit www.gafamilyservices.org or call 716-708-6161.
G.A. Family Services was founded on a tradition of caring and compassion toward youth and provides a full continuum of services for at-risk youth and their families.