The number of foster children has doubled in the Indianapolis area in the past two years. A reality that's really putting the pressure on Child Advocates everyday, but especially during the holidays.
Child Advocates has teamed up with Foster Fairies Inc. to collect toys for more than 1,500 Hoosier kids in foster care.
"I can't imagine being a child removed from everything that you know. Your school, your friends, family, your bed you know everything and then on top of that have Christmas and not know if Santa's going to find his way to you," Child Advocates, Executive Director, Cindy Booth said.
Santa's route will be even busier this year due to the overwhelming amount of children in the foster care system.
"On any one day child advocates advocate for the best interest of about 5,000 children," Booth said.
That amount has doubled in the past two years.
"We can see a level sort of a slow increase then it shoots up in march of 2014 and we attribute a lot of that to heroin, to more domestic violence, to more drugs over all," Booth said.
"Just seeing the situation first hand made me start foster fairies because I really wanted to help where nobody was helping," Foster Fairies founder, Aleksandra Pesalg said.
This year the team had to double their warehouse space. Child advocates board member and local business man Eddie Pillow answered their call.
"We had increased our business as well and had the opportunity to provide the space so as they continue to grow we're hoping to be able to continue to provide that need for them," Vice President of Pillow Logistics, Eddie Pillow said.
Pesalg started this effort out of her home and six years later the community response still blows her away.
"First five years I had been an emotional mess but this year I kind of already know that people are going to come through and bring all these gifts," Pesalg said.
The Foster Fairies still need gift card donations for older foster children. You can drop them off at the Child Advocates location. Child Advocates says they need more volunteers to help with home visits for the children if you would like to get involved.