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The Twig of Bradenton offers extra holiday gifts to foster children

The nonprofit gives the children extra regular shopping items, along with games and a gift card.

The store provides for the needs of children in the foster care system.
The store provides for the needs of children in the foster care system.
Photo by Ian Swaby
  • East County
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As foster kids visit The Twig in East County on Dec. 10, they will see proof that it is, indeed, the holiday season.

The nonprofit’s vision is listed as “To provide a haven for the foster care community where needs are met, hearts are encouraged, and God’s love is shown in a practical way.”

The Twig’s staff members and volunteers are working hard to make sure each child who enters the store will walk away with an unexpected gift.

“Shopping at our store is almost like holiday shopping every month because (foster children) are able to come in and shop for free,” Program Coordinator Lindsey May said.

Children who visit the store can take home seven items of clothing, which includes a pair of shoes. They also receive two books and other items.

On Dec. 10, though, and other Wednesdays in December by appointment, they will be able to choose more items than usual along with an item from The Twig’s Christmas table and a gift card to a big box store.

“That’s an additional gift that we give to the kids so that we let them know, ‘Merry Christmas, this is from us to you,’” May said.

The organization is giving away many board and interactive games.

The Twig also has been working to provide a different selection of cooler weather clothing than usual. The staff is trying to acquire more hoodies, sweatpants and joggers and holiday-themed apparel.

May said monetary donations are crucial because it allows The Twig to buy less common clothing items. 

For example, she said some boys wear a size 15 shoe, which seldom comes into the store as a donation.

While the store seeks items for newborns through age 18 and older, she said The Twig also is seeking more items for preteens through teenagers.

Additionally, the store is seeking volunteers for January due to efforts to increase its capacity.



Ian Swaby

Ian Swaby is a reporter for the East County Observer. Ian is a Florida State University graduate of Editing, Writing, and Media and previously worked in the publishing industry in the Cayman Islands. You will find Ian at everything from Music on Main in Lakewood Ranch to Manatee County Commission meetings.

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