Every child should have a place to call home for the holidays, but many kids in our area could stay in shelters instead. Right now there are only 86 foster homes open for children in southern Illinois, but there's a need for close to 300.
Donnie Blakenship lives in Vienna, IL and has taken in 15 children and adopted six of them. She said she couldn't imagine her life without them.
"I could cry just thinking about where would they be, and there are so many kids out there that, you know, they go through so much abuse and neglect just because people won't open their homes. That just breaks my heart," Blakenship said.
Donnie and her husband started fostering children after their two biological children had grown. Donnie encourages people to consider fostering. She said it's not very difficult to apply and that it can be very rewarding. Donnie said she'd take in more kids, but the state only allows up to six children per foster home.
Banterra Bank is working with the Department of Children and Family Services to help foster kids. Banterra is raising money to help buy gifts for foster kids in shelters and homes this Christmas. You can make a donation at any bank location until December 15th.