GROVE, Okla. — A northeast Oklahoma organization is working to bring attention to hundreds of kids in the Delaware County foster care system.
“There are about 200 to 250 kids in Delaware County alone that are in deprived and neglected court systems. That’s a horrible, horrible number,” said Father David Bridges, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
To help lower that number, CASA of Northeast Oklahoma created a project this year called “The Paper Doll Project,” to bring awareness to foster children in the county.
“Obviously, we can’t show children that are in foster care, but this is a way that one, we can illustrate the plight that they’re going through, but do it in a way that is a positive way,” said Mark Ogle, Resource & Marketing Coordinator, NEO CASA.
From now until September 16th, any area business, organization, or individual can request the life-size doll to “foster.”
“What we ask them to do is take the doll, foster the doll by dressing it, naming the doll, um, I’ve seen people take dolls on play dates, I’ve seen them take them to the lake, I’ve seen them take them everywhere,” said Ogle.
On September 16th and 17th, all the dolls from Delaware County will be united with each other for the “Family Friendly Festival Day” at St. Andrew’s church in Grove.
“We stand for what’s best for the children, for the rights of the children, maybe, more importantly, we’re a close friend to them. We’re a constant face, that if they get moved from one place to another, which often happens in the system, we are the constant presence that’s there to give them some stability,” said Father David.
The clothes on the dolls will also be put to good use… They’ll be donated to local foster children.
Ogle encourages those who are interested in fostering a doll or becoming a CASA advocate to reach out via their website by following this link here.