FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – As North Texas awaits the arrival of more than 2,000 immigrant children from South and Central America, leaders from Catholic Charities of Fort Worth and Catholic Charities of Dallas said the needs are great.

Along with monetary donations and gift cards from Walmart and Target, Heather Reynolds, CEO of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, said they are most in need of foster families.

“We need foster families who can provide a safe, nurturing culturally sensitive home that will equip and empower these children to reach their fullest potential,” she said.

Right now Catholic Charities of Fort Worth has about 40 foster families, Reynolds said, but they hope to double that number.

Fostering takes extensive training and a long term commitment.

Those who volunteer to foster as part of the charity’s international foster program would be eligible to foster not only unaccompanied minors, but international refugees from around the world as well.

Krisan Buckle has been a foster parent in the Catholic Charities International Foster Program since 2009.

“It’s kind of an act of faith for us to do this,” Buckle said. She is fostering two brother from Uganda. “It’s just a very deep, profound gratification. Just so rewarding. Our son is just so hilarious and he’s taken us on an adventure that we would have never had. It’s hard to talk about without crying.”

Catholic Charities says there are no open volunteer opportunities to work directly with the incoming unaccompanied minors, but says there is a great need for volunteer attorneys, mentors, tutors, and ESL teachers.

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth is also accepting cleaning supplies, school supplies and welcome boxes that contain toiletries and a toy for children of all ages.

More information on what the plastic boxes should contain and where and when they can be dropped off can found by clicking the Catholic Charities of Fort Worth website here.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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