Charity collects Christmas gifts for foster kids

One charity is determined to make sure metro Detroit-area foster children enjoy a merry Christmas. To that end, For The Seventh Generation has launched its holiday toy and gift drive.

The charity is collecting new toys, clothing, and other gifts to distribute during its third annual Holiday Bazaar on Thursday, Dec. 11. The event is open to foster children aged twelve and under.

“Michigan’s foster care system provides the basics — but that’s all,” explained For The Seventh Generation Help Closet Coordinator Shirley Roseman, the event’s founder. “We started the Holiday Bazaar so our most deserving, vulnerable children can also share in the joy of the season.”

Roseman explained that, in addition to holiday-themed activities, foster children attending the Bazaar will leave with two gifts — one to give someone special in their lives, and one (selected by their foster care worker) to receive during the holiday. Both gifts will be hand-wrapped by volunteers.

“We want them to experience the excitement of giving as well as the joy of receiving,” Roseman added. “In other words, to feel just like any other child at Christmas.”

“Last year, one little girl couldn’t take her eyes off a lava lamp someone had donated,” said FTSG Executive Director Lorraine Weber. “So of course I gave it to her. When I received her thank-you note a few days later, I found out that her abusive stepfather had broken the lava lamp she owned before being taken into foster care.” Weber added that in addition to individual donations, her organization is seeking event sponsors and drop off locations for donations.

“We’ve enjoyed the generous support of the Detroit Rotary Club for the past two years. They have been a huge help, not just with this event but in helping us establish the Help Closet overall,” Weber said. “Now we’re inviting the wider community to come forward and give ‘our’ kids the gift of Christmas.”

Locally-owned businesses, corporations, and other nonprofits are encouraged to participate by setting out a box for donations and/or making a monetary gift to pay for refreshments, special requests, and games. The Black Law Students’ Association at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law is this year’s first organizational sponsor.

“All it takes is for each person or business to do just one thing – whether that means collecting and dropping off donations, donating a toy, bringing baked goods or writing a check,” Roseman said. “It’s amazing, one small gesture is enough to make a foster child’s day.”

Roseman added that donations will be accepted through Dec. 1 to give volunteers time to arrange for the event.

Those wishing to donate one or more new toys or to act as a Holiday Bazaar drop off location are encouraged to contact Shirley Roseman at or (313) 529-1813. Those wishing to make a financial contribution can do so online at the organization’s website:

Companies and other organizations wishing to become event sponsors are encouraged to contact Dawn Wolfe at