Calling all big-hearted West Texans! It's definitely the time of year to open our hearts and wallets as we count our blessings and reach out to help those who otherwise may not have anything for Christmas or even for the cold weather.

The non-for-profit BCFS Health and Human Services' Lubbock Transition Center provides services for youth aging out of the foster care system and those at-risk of homelessness and facing other challenges. These are children and young adults who have faced extremely difficult circumstances and would otherwise be forgotten, especially this time of year.

Their goal is to expand skills and knowledge, strengthen self-confidence, create healthy community relationships and teach positive self-guidance.

The Lubbock Transition Center serves over 600 children and adults in the West Texas area from ages 14 to 25. We spoke with Director Kami Jackson about what the needs are specifically this time of year.

Jackson said the group needs winter coats, shoes and boots, scarves, hats, caps, socks and gloves/mittens for males and females ages 14 to 25, as well as gently used or new career clothing for males and females.

Household and hygiene items are also needed, including bedspreads, comforters, towels, bath mats, kitchen utensils, mini refrigerators, microwaves, lamps, etc. Basically, anything you would need to set up an apartment of dorm room.

Jackson said that many of their clients have children who are not clients or the Transition Center, so they need baby and children's clothing from infant size to 5 years of age, toys, shoes, bottles, pacifiers and diapers are among items needed. Cash donations are also welcomed.

The group also helps children find housing if they go to college. Children are also helped to enroll in college, find a career or vocation and accomplish their goals.

You may also sponsor one of the Transition Center clients for Christmas through their Christmas Dreams program.

For more information, to sponsor someone for Christmas or to make a donation, you can contact the Lubbock Transition Center at (806) 725-0526 or visit them at 125 Chicago Avenue in Lubbock.

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