Kristin Sarskas (pictured above with her son Parker and husband Ed) is a business owner, church member, wife, partner and foster parent. As if that’s not enough to juggle, she is heading up a toy collection for the annual SaintA Toy Drive, which is going on now through Nov. 30. KS Skin Therapy, located inside Aura Salon in Pewaukee, started their toy drive in early September and have already handed their first batch of toys over to SaintA to make room for the donations that continue to come in!
“It’s our staff and clients who are donating these toys and we feel really good as a small, local business to be able to give back in this way,” says Kristin. “Seeing toys come in means a lot to all of us.” Even though Kristin is the only foster parent in the group, everyone feels it’s important to collect these toys for kids who might not otherwise get much this holiday.
“When I tell people we are a foster family, they often say we are a blessing to the kids. People don’t realize it’s the other way around – we are the ones who get the blessings from doing this,” says Kristin. She and her husband have had placements pretty consistently since becoming licensed two and a half years ago. They have had two babies and one pre-teen in their home.
“Our son Parker was still at home when we started fostering babies and he just fell in love with them. It was such a good experience for him before he left for college,” says Kristin. The family plans to continue to take placements and is seriously contemplating becoming licensed in Treatment Foster Care.
Kristin is often asked how they do it, especially since they are not foster-to-adopt. “We do need to let our hearts heal between placements because we miss the kids when they transition to what’s hopefully their forever home. But this is the role we play,” she says. “Plus, the house gets too quiet without a baby in it, so even when we’re between placements, we know there will be more.”
The family firmly believes foster parenting is a calling and it’s one they could not have ignored. “We all need to help each other,” explains Kristin. And, in the end, that’s what a big gesture like fostering and a small gesture like a toy donation are all about: helping each other out.