LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– The holidays are synonymous with togetherness and family time, but for a group of siblings separated in foster care, there is no guarantee that’s going to happen.
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children celebrated its annual Gift of Giving event at Circus Circus on Saturday, which saw many separated siblings reunited.
Nine-year-old Bella Lopez Cohan and her older sister, Brianna live in a foster home together and are lifelong members of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s Sibling Preservation program. They have been coming to the ranch’s Gift of Giving for years.
“I love coming over here because it’s really fun to spend time with my other siblings but sadly they couldn’t come,” said Brianna.
This year they’ll miss out on spending the holidays with their two brothers, an unfortunate reality for many children in foster care.
Christina Vela, CEO of the ranch told 8 News Now that this event may be the only time the children get to spend the holidays together.
“Our program is the only one in Southern Nevada that has this unique programming that once a month we bring these siblings together so that they can really spend that quality time together,” she said.
The organization’s Sibling Preservation program reconnects nearly 280 children per year with their siblings.