Along with karaoke, face-painting and mascots, this year’s Kids in Kare Picnic had something special – a gift card giveaway for every foster family who attended.
Families attending the event on June 14 at the Forks Historic Site were able to choose from $100 gift cards to Tinkertown, the Assiniboine Zoo, Fun Mountain waterslide park, SkyZone or Flying Squirrel. They were provided to foster children and their families by the General Authority in partnership with the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, and thanks to generous donations from the Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program.
The goal was to enable foster families to enjoy a fun activity together in the summer.
The mission and purpose of the Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program is to “significantly improve the experience of coming into foster care for children and youth across Canada…by providing items and resources that aid in their comfort, well-being, safety and sense of security.”
Those who attended this year’s 17th annual KIK Picnic were pleased with the giveaway.
“We are totally surprised. We thought that it was a raffle or a draw,” said foster mother Leanne, who was attending the picnic with two children.
She chose Tinkertown for her two youngsters. It was their first time at the KIK picnic and she was amazed at all the things for both of the children to do.
Another first-time family enjoyed every second at KIK, starting with when “we walked in and we got free ice cream,” said foster parent Jeff. He was also surprised to receive a gift card but had to make a beeline for the bouncy castles, where his foster children were headed.
Another foster parent named Carly was also thrilled to get a gift card for her foster family.
“It’s huge. That is so cool. We got a zoo gift card because the zoo is so expensive.”
She loves KIK because there are “tons of activities” for her foster child and he loves to try everything.
While her foster child is young, she feels that “when his is older, it [KIK] normalizes it [being a foster child]. He will feel like, ‘there are more kids like me,’” she said.
This year’s picnic was attended by a total of 708 people, including 261 children either living in foster homes or shelters.
This year’s picnic featured old classics including the ever-popular photo booth, fish pond, face-painting and games, refreshments including hot dogs and ice cream, and bicycle draws. There were a number of new activities too, including a science experiment booth manned by U of M and U of W science students, a very popular braid bar staffed by Aveda volunteers, glitter tattoos and manicures, a Lego building area and a horse from Cloud 9 Ranch.