The Poshard Foundation makes Christmas brighter for children in need

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CARTERVILLE — During the year, the Poshard Foundation works to heal abused children physically and emotionally and to stop the abuse of children. That means they often buy needed items like car seats, beds or special medical equipment used to examine children who are sexually abused.



Gloria Cravens of Damas Latinas checks her list as she looks for toys and gifts for children served by her agency during the annual toy giveaway organized by the Poshard Foundation on Wednesday at John A. Logan College in Carterville.





Byron Hetzler




Once a year, the Poshard Foundation volunteers step up to help Santa by providing Christmas gifts to organizations that serve needy and abused children.

Maria Barton and Gloria Cravens of Damas Latinas pick out gifts for needy children during the Poshard Foundation’s toy give away.



The foundation’s website says it provides funding for children in crisis when other funds are not available. For children, Christmas is important, according to Jo Poshard, founder of the organization.

“This is such a great thing to do for the community and kids. The work you have done is fantastic,” Dr. Kirk Overstreet, president of John A. Logan College, said to Poshard.

“We will have more than 2,000 gifts to give to 500 kids,” Poshard said.

The gifts are made possible by the group’s sponsors, which include Ameren Illinois.

Tina Gibbs, community relations executive for Ameren, gave Poshard a check for $5,000 on Wednesday while organizations shopped for gifts.

“We felt its part of our responsibility to support the community. We see the need and continue to give. We want to step up and support the Poshard Foundation as much as we can,” Gibbs said.



Volunteer Cyndi Bogard (center) helps Gloria Cravens (left) and Maria Barton of Damas Latinas find toys and gifts for children served by their agency during the annual toy distribution organized by the Poshard Foundation on Wednesday at John A. Logan College in Carterville. More than 2,000 toys and gifts were collected to be distributed to 500 abused, abandoned or neglected children served by 18 agencies in 13 Southern Illinois counties.





Byron Hetzler




Maria Barton and Gloria Cravens of Damas Latinas were choosing gifts for 25 children.

“This is amazing. One of our biggest events is our Christmas celebration with children in need,” Barton said.

Cravens said this saves money for the group to use on other charitable things they do, such as scholarships for graduating high school students.

The organization brings together Hispanic women. Damas Latinas started in 1986 and has about 40 active members, who Cravens said are part of sisterhood and really good friends.

Mary Jo Agin was selecting gifts for 10 children served by CASA of Saline County. CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates serves children who are in the court system. Agin said they advocate for the best needs of their children and write reports to a judge.

She said they also go to the homes involved for a visit and focus on the educational needs of children. A new program also addresses the health needs of their children.

“Shopping is fun. Some of our kids made requests that were very specific,” she said.

They will get their gifts and coats at a holiday party Dec. 18.



Representatives from several Southern Illinois social service agencies look through the more than 2,000 toys and gifts collected for abused, abandoned or neglected children as part of the annual toy distribution by the Poshard Foundation on Wednesday at John A. Logan College in Carterville.





Byron Hetzler




In addition to Damas Latinas and Casa of Saline County, the Poshard Foundation provided gifts to these organizations:  

  • Arrowleaf
  • Cairo Women’s Center
  • Caritas
  • Centerstone
  • CASA of Marion County
  • CASA of Williamson County
  • DCFS, Cairo
  • DCFS, Harrisburg
  • DCFS, Marion
  • DCFS, Metropolis
  • LSSI Prisoner and Family Ministry
  • Spero
  • The Promise
  • The Night’s Shield
  • The Women’s Center/Harrisburg
  • Young Hearts with Goals and Purpose

While their Christmas event is fun, the Poshard Foundation helps children all year long.

For more information or to make a donation, visit poshardfoundation.org or call 618-985-2828, ext. 8564. The foundation’s office is at John A. Logan College.

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via The Southern

December 9, 2021 at 10:43PM

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