NORMAN — For Tracy Curtis, sitting on the board of directors for the Citizen Advisory Board is not an obligation, it’s a privilege.
Curtis, who has opened her home to many in need, knows first-hand how some children in the foster care system are treated. Curtis also thinks that no child should be forgotten on Christmas morning.
“I have a kid who has been involved in foster care in my house and I see how she feels disconnected. I don’t think she has any faith in something like Christmas. I also don’t think she feels a lot of self worth that she deserves a Christmas,” Curtis said. “I think when the parents get in trouble, a lot of times the kids shoulder that burden and they know that something is broken. And what child doesn’t want to get some gifts?”
That’s where the CAB Secret Santa program steps in. For more than 20 years, the Secret Santa program has been available for those interested in purchasing Christmas gifts for children that have been placed in foster care. The gifts will later be delivered to children that are away from their birth parents on Christmas Day. Local elves can pick a child based on age or based on the amount they want to spend.
“We are still recruiting volunteers to sort gifts and recruiting shoppers. Our shoppers are elves,” Curtis said.
Individuals who didn’t want to shop are also encouraged to donate money for gifts.
CAB was established to help foster families in need. CAB will give money to help the family buy essentials like diapers, a crib or formula. Most of the funding for CAB comes from the annual Coaches Luncheon.
The idea of giving Christmas gifts to foster children was born a few years ago from a couple who worked for a bank in Moore that were foster parents. One Christmas, the couple recruited their bank to provide Christmas gifts for the foster care program in Cleveland County.