Gift of Love

East Texas teen sees foster care as “second chance” at finding forever family

Nicholas, 15, is hopeful his time in foster care will lead to the family who will support him in his dream of becoming an actor and undercover agent.

  Woman uses booth at Canton Trade Days to shed light on foster crisis in East Texas

CASA in need of volunteers as child abuse reports expected to rise during start of new school year

East Texas woman honored for fostering 70+ children over 28 years

  Adopted East Texas children share powerful testimony in Foster Care Awareness campaign

Texas DFPS joins faith communities to pray for child abuse victims on “Blue Sunday”

Abuse survivor, Miss. Texas’ Outstanding Teen urges everyone to “walk a mile” for children

Continued Coverage

“Case workers are on the frontlines”: Mask collection underway for workers investigating child abuse

Hospitality Health ER uplifts and honors healthcare workers with Free, Live Stream Concert led by Christian recording artist, Leeland

Gift of Love: Jerod, Jerome, Jocelyn, Joaquin, Journie

Gift of Love: Christina

Gift of Love: Madison

  Certified babysitter training to benefit East Texas foster families

Gift of Love: Ryan

“I don’t want to go back to my parents,” the sixth grader told us as he sat down with us. “They were mean.”

  Gift of Love: Sonya

For this sophomore, the experience of getting her hair and makeup done was made even more special because it was all a surprise.

Gift of Love: Samantha & Marlee

“We’ve been together all our lives and every time we're apart for long periods of time, it feels empty, it feels weird,” said Sam.

  Gift of Love: Daniel

For Daniel, it’s not about the freedom aspect of having a new car that excites him, but rather, the opportunity for a new start in a difficult life.

Gift of Love: Chelsy

  Gift of Love: Dale

  Gift of Love: Kay’Dence

Gift of Love: Alex

Gift of Love: Hannah

Gift of Love: Jenna

Gift of Love: John, Abigail, Bryson

John, Abigail, and Bryson are three siblings with smiles warm enough to fill your heart. The way they love life, despite not having parents, is something even more inspiring.

Lone Star native takes two honors at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen

Graves, 17, of Lone Star is the newly crowned Miss. Texas’s Outstanding Teen. The Texarkana senior spent the last week competing in Orlando, Florida.

E. Texas child abuse survivor to represent Texas at Miss. America’s Outstanding Teen

From living in an abusive household as a toddler, to becoming Miss. Texas’ Oustanding Teen 2019, Allie Graves, 17, is proving there is nothing that can stand in the way of her goals. The Lone Star native is headed to Orlando for the Miss. America’s Outstanding Teen competition.

Gift of Love: Robin

No matter her situation, Robin, 13, refuses to let the colors of her world fade. At Pottery Cafe Tyler, Robin was able to show us her deep passion for art. She’s been creating her own works of art since she was a young child. “I usually draw. I make art up in my safe spot in my room," said Robin.

Gift of Love: Memphis

“Family could be anyone you meet,” said Memphis. He feels strongly about that statement as he has become close to friends, teachers, and people who are not related to him by blood. When thoughts of being different than most children begin to manifest inside his head, Memphis leans on perspective.

4 children, 16-year-old adopted into forever families

For five children in East Texas, the search for a “forever family” is officially over. At the 2019 Gregg County Summer Adoption Day Monday, May 20, five children were adopted into three families.

Gift of Love: Armani

As a child of the foster system for most of his life, the eighth-grader is ready for a new adventure: finding a forever family."I just want a family who loves me,” said Armani between climbs. “I really don’t want much more.”

Call for churches to pray for children facing abuse on “Blue Sunday”

Since 1994, “Blue Sunday” has been an opportunity for people of all faiths to pray for abused children and those who intervene to rescue them.Getting involved is as simple as asking your church leaders to pray for this cause during Sunday service on April 28th.

Gift of Love: Daylon

Daylon, 13, loves playing basketball and making friends in the foster care system. While this spirited teen knows the value of friendship, he also knows how important it is to have a family support system.

Healing through Art: Live painting to benefit abused teenage girls

No matter where you are this weekend, an East Texas organization helping abused foster children is hosting an event you can take part in.This Saturday, Artfix Cultured Studios in Downtown Tyler is teaming up with Hope Haven of Smith County for “Stronger Together: Women Artists.”“Every dime that is

“Beds of Hope” seeks to build 70 beds for East Texas children in care of CPS

When a child is removed from a home by CPS, one of the first things they need is a bed to sleep in. Organizations like “Beds of Hope” work fill that need. According to the “Beds of Hope” Facebook page, their next event is happening Saturday, April 6th in Longview.

Faith-based foster care program changes name, mission

A new name and a new initiative is in place for an East Texas organization that has been helping children across East Texas for years. “We've been waiting a long time to be able to share this with people,” said East Texas Orphan Care Network’s Justin Hayes.

CASA calls child abuse an ‘everywhere problem’

“This is not a Dallas problem, this is not a Houston problem, this is a problem everywhere,” said East Texas CASA Executive Director Shelly Smith. “Whether you talk about it or don't talk about it, it exists.”

Texarkana woman named “Angel in Adoption” by Congress

A mission based out of Texarkana is serving the community one child at a time. The woman at the center of it all said her sights are set on transforming of the foster care system in the surrounding states.

  Ted Cruz visits Lufkin, Nacogdoches; talks national state of emergency, Democratic opponents

Texas Senator Ted Cruz stops in Nacogdoches to talk national state of emergency, Democratic opponents

Gift of Love: Jordan and Jaylon

For brothers only a year a part, their favorite pastime is a little friendly competition. Whether that be on the basketball, through a dance-off, or joking with one another, they both agree they are each other’s best friend.

  Gift of Love: Gabriella, Ethan, Joshua

Ethan remains hopeful that the bond he has with his brother and sister will never be broken by distance. “It's very important because you need to be with your siblings to have fun with them and love them,” said Ethan.

  Gift of Love: Angela

With a team behind her, there's not much Angela can't do. For this teen, her passion for basketball goes beyond some competition on the court. “I feel like when you're with a team, y'all really look out for each other,” said Angela. “So it means a lot for y'all be loyal and always have each other’s

Gift Of Love: Dale

“I’ve been in CPS since I was two months,” said Dale. “It’s just pitiful.”

Gift of Love: Jonathan

“It's exciting,” Jonathan, 9, said as he waited for his first opportunity to put on a cooking apron at New York Pizza & Pasta Tyler. For this child of the foster system, cooking is something he doesn’t get to do often. “It makes me feel like a new kid,” said Jonathan.

Gift of Love: Raymon

Raymon, 13, isn't just fascinated by animals, he sees them much like himself. "Because some might be abused and they may need help, so I want to help them out," said Raymon.

Miss North Texas Outstanding Teen shares personal adoption story

Ahead of Adoption Awareness month in November, an East Texas teen is shedding light on the importance of the self-less act of adoption. She shared her own story of triumph over tragedy at the R4 Adoption Match Event in Canton Saturday.

Gift of Love: La’Rey

For teens in protective care, the biggest fear is aging out of the system.“I already signed a contract for extended foster care so I am going to stay in CPS when I turn 18,” said La’Rey. For La'Rey, the opportunity to stay into her early twenties gives her valuable time to find the forever family

Gift of Love: Benjamin

Six-year-old Benjamin is a kindergartner with a passion for life.“I wish I had another family with mom, dad, sister, brothers, all those kind of things,” said Benjamin.

  Gift of Love: Legacy Closet provides hundreds of foster children clothing

For children who are unexpectedly placed in protective care, the clothes on their backs may be the only thing they have to wear for weeks to come. “They were taken in the middle of the night, I got them at 12:30 in the morning,” said the assistant director of Legacy Closet Veronica McGee.

Gift of Love: Landen, a creative 13-year-old, needs a loving family

For Landen life is about creating and learning.

Gift of Love: Roy, Matthew, & Aiyden

Roy, 10, has a love for all things outdoors, but his true passion is his brothers.

Fire chief, teacher celebrate adoption of baby boy after infertility

"It just felt like it was meant to be, like he was meant to be in our lives," said Alto Kindergarten teacher and new mother Liz Trotty.

Gift of Love: Shyden

For a young teen named Shyden, he's anything but shy.  He's a 13-year-old with a clear vision of what he wants to be when he grows up.   "I want to be the storm tracker," said Shyden. "I'm going to be a weather anchor and a news anchor!"  The only thing missing is a family to support him.

Gift of Love: Nathan

To say 7-year-old Nathan always sees the brighter side would only be scratching the surface.

Gift of Love: Demarcus

What began at an elementary school birthday party, ended in the making of a family.

Gift of Love: Therapeutic Foster Families

There is a big need for therapeutic foster families in East Texas for foster children with medical needs.

Gift of Love: Caitlin

Caitlin is looking for a forever family to show her the Gift of Love.

Gift of Love: Noah

Noah is looking for the Gift of Love and wants more than anything to find a family that loves to be on the go.

Gift of Love: Destiny

It was an afternoon of cooking up something delicious inside the Discovery Science Center with Destiny. This 11-year-old funny, inquisitive, creative and full of imagination. Destiny is currently in the 5th grade and loves art class. "It's painting and stuff and I like to paint," Destiny said. Destiny enjoys playing games, drawing, coloring, doing crafts, skating, going swimming, playing with dolls, helping with cooking and she loves teddy bears. Destiny also likes to play...

Gift of Love: Leighton

Leighton is looking for the Gift of Love.

Gift of Love: Children Advocacy Center of Smith County Rainbow Room

The month of April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Several organizations are doing their part to help our youngest victims in all sorts of ways. Every day child victims of physical and sexual abuse come through the doors of the Children's Advocacy Center of Smith County. The non-profit serves children ages birth through 17 who have been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse, witnessed a violent crime or been exposed to community violence.

Gift of Love: Justice

This 12 year old is a sweet and vivacious child. Her red hair, freckles, and sweet smile are hard to overlook.

Gift of Love: Randall, Love and Eden

These three siblings had a great afternoon bouncing off the floor, walls and every thing else at iJump.