Although the holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, there are children who are hurting at this time of year because of trauma in their lives. But a local program is helping in a way you might not expect! This week's Romona's Kids are in Wooster.
“The children are here to work through some of their abuse, neglect, and trauma that they've experienced,” said Executive Director Kevin Hewitt.
The staff believes that giving back is a huge component of healing. So this holiday season the kids show their worth by helping volunteers and alumni to prepare thousands of meals to be sent to children in Haiti.
“We can actually help them start realizing there's a bigger world than just them and the fact that they can help and when you feel good about yourself, you feel good about making other decisions in your life too," said Hewitt.
Another way children gain social and coping skills is through art therapy, even working in groups to create a picture together.
“We don't tell them how to make their tree, we don't tell them how to make the sun in the sky and they just make it and if it wasn't for everyone participating, then they wouldn't have a full picture,” said Louie DiFiori, Senior Operational Supervisor.
The kids also make secret Santa gifts for each other. Some children are eventually placed into foster or adoptive homes but the Center also works with families to re-unify them. They say you can help give these kids hope by becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or even by donating new socks, underwear or clothing.
“I really think the key for us is (to teach the children) to know that God loves them, but the other thing is, that they are worth something,” said Hewitt.