By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Pillows for kids, blankets, diapers and other items are often donated for kids going into foster care through Otter Tail County Human Services.

“Community members, service organizations, businesses and church groups offer to donate items or gift cards,” said county Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom to members of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 9.

A Minnesota statute requires a county to accept gifts by resolution. 

“We in Human Services recommend that the county board pass the resolution since all of the donations go for the sole purpose of assisting people receiving services from Otter Tail County Human Services,” Sjostrom said. “These kinds gestures help meet needs that are otherwise not covered.”

Happily passing the resolution were County Commissioners Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls, Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids, Betty Murphy of Maine Township, Kurt Mortenson of rural Underwood and Dan Bucholz of rural Perham.

“We are pleased to pass this resolution and express our grateful appreciation to people and organizations to want to help kids in need,” Rogness said.

Foster parents are as diverse as the children they care for. A foster parent may be single or married, have children or not have children, rent or own their own home.  

What they share is a concern for children and a commitment to help children through tough times. They provide critical temporary care and nurturing to children.

Sjostrom told county board members that it was very difficult for her employees to work through COVID-19 the past several months, especially with face-to-face visits.

“Things did get much better once we got into summer 2020, when people could be outdoors more of the time,” Sjostrom added. “We want people to access our services.”