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Okaloosa Students Raise Money for Charity

Students in Okaloosa County elected "Teacher Homecoming King and Queen," pied a principal, held a gigantic garage sale and organized various other fundraisers to help raise more than $30,000 for The Children's Neighborhood.

The money raised by the schools will be used to support the children who stay in the group foster home, "Blessings House" and those in the emergency shelter nearby. It will be used to purchase food, clothing and school supplies.

One of the key goals of The Children's Neighborhood is to ensure that children live in a safe, stable environment and are not moved from foster home to foster home. Special emphasis is placed on keeping siblings together, which is not always possible in a "regular" foster home because almost half of them are already overcrowded.

The emergency shelter is for children who are removed from an unsafe environment on short notice, sometimes in the middle of the night. It allows them to have shelter for up to 90 days, while placement in an appropriate foster home is arranged. It has beds for 16 children, while the group foster home can house up to eight children and their live-in foster parents.

For more information on this story, visit the Okaloosa County School District Web site at