During the holiday season, local charities see a spike in donations and charitable giving, but it’s important to remember that many of them need help all year long.

At Comfort Systems, our mission is to fix your plumbing issues and provide 24/7 emergency furnace repair, but we’re also proud to be good stewards to our community. For several years we’ve supported the local charity, ICT S.O.S. and their partners in order to improve the lives of at-risk children and teens.

ICT S.O.S. is a grass roots organization founded by Jennifer White. The initial goal of the group was to help youth and teens who had been victimized by sexual exploitation. Now, ICT S.O.S. acts as a liaison between local agencies and volunteers. Partners like the Child Advocacy Center, Youthville, Carpenter Place, and The Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit seek out and help the most vulnerable and under-served youth populations in the Wichita area.

While Christmas trees are being packed away in homes across the city, the ICT S.O.S. tree at Meads Corner will stay up through the end of the year. On it you’ll find wish list items for the Child Advocacy Center that will help comfort children all year long. After purchase, items can be returned to Meads Corner.

In addition to the Giving Tree, Jennifer stresses the importance of having Fresh Start bags on hand that are distributed throughout the partnership network. When teens and children are taken to a partner agency, they’re often running away from violence or sexual exploitation and too often, arrive with only the clothes on their backs. Each Fresh Start bag contains a new change of clothes, toiletry items and gift cards for food. “Many of these kids have been abused and controlled for so long, the simple act of picking their own menu item at a fast food restaurant is a joy,” explained Jennifer.

When it comes to helping our local community, the spirit of generosity should always be in season.