Yutaka delivers Christmas joy to foster kids

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Yutaka representatives (at each end of the line) Aleese Horton, April Weaver, Summer Breskow Perry, and Courtney Brown present the Cullman County Department of Human Resources (DHR) a roomful of toys, new clothing items and other gifts for kids in foster care. / W.C. Mann

CULLMAN – On Monday morning, the Cullman County Department of Human Resources (DHR) received a much-needed gift (a roomful of them, in fact!) from Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies (ACYT), as part of an ongoing partnership between company employees and the agency this year.

DHR’s Rae Ann Moore explained, “Yutaka helped us with Thanksgiving, and they did an angel tree where they sponsored some children, plus they took up some money and just went and bought this extra for the foster children in Cullman County.  Children that are picked up between now and Christmas, they will use this stuff; and if there’s any children that need it, we’ll give it to them.”

Yutaka’s Summer Breskow Perry told The Tribune, “Each year we try to sponsor local organizations.  At Yutaka, we have what we call the ‘A Team;’ we take care of all activities in the community.  We got together and we voted, and decided to sponsor three organizations this year: DHR, Good Samaritan Health Clinic and Hanceville Nursing Home. 

Perry said Yutaka just really wants to help people in the community.

“We want to help the people in Cullman,” she said. “We have a lot to give; the associates want to give, ACYT wants to give.  A lot of the people that work at Yutaka are from the Cullman area, and so we’re just giving back.”

“Yutaka’s just grateful for the opportunity to help the community,” added company representative Courtney Brown, “to sponsor and help any of our neighborhood family that we can.”

Yutaka’s staff sponsored 68 kids, and other community groups and individuals are serving as sponsors, as well.  The company gave certain gifts specifically to their sponsored kids, and a great many more gifts to be distributed by DHR as needs and opportunities arise.

Moore told the team from Yutaka, “We couldn’t do it without people like y’all.  Y’all are what make our Christmas.  If we didn’t have sponsors, we just couldn’t do it.  It’s hard to give the kids the Christmas they want, and for some kids, this is the only Christmas they’ll have.  If they’re in care, we at least want to make sure they have a good Christmas.”

Cullman DHR currently has 265 children in foster care; a few of whom, including kids up to 7 years old, will be receiving their very first Christmas presents this year. 

“This is a fun but exhausting time of year for our staff and foster parents.  Our halls and our cars are filled with toys and the hustle and bustle of Christmastime.  That would not be the case without the support of our partner groups and agencies within the community,” said Cullman DHR Director Amy Smith. “We are so grateful to the many sponsors we have that make sure our 200-plus children in foster care have the Christmas that they deserve.  Our community is one that responds every single time we ask for anything for our kids.”

Smith said the department has received help this holiday season from many community sponsors, including: Yutaka, Kids to Love, Desperation Church, The Cullman Realtors Association, Second Century League, Holly Pond High School, other various local churches, civic groups and individuals throughout the community. 

“The department just does not have the resources available to make Christmas happen for our families without such generosity from the community,” she shared.

To find out how you can help DHR’s foster children, call the Cullman office at 256-737-5300.

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