LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Serena is 13 and is like most teenagers in most every way.

“I read sometimes, not a lot, I’m usually watching TV or playing games.  I like watching anime,” she said.

She is also unlike most teens because she is in foster care.  She admits it’s difficult at times being in foster care and dealing with stuff all teenagers go through physically and emotionally.

“It’s been hard at points, but usually I try to move past it, my therapist has helped a lot,” Serena said. 

State Senator Missy Irvin started Christmas at the Capitol a few years ago and it was started as an event to collect Christmas gifts for children in foster care.

“We really want to make sure the children in state custody, in state care, know that we love them, we care about them,” Irvin said.

This year Christmas at the Capitol is focusing on donations for teens in foster care.

“We wanted to reach out to them, focus on the teenagers and provide gifts that are meaningful to them,” Irvin explained.

Serena said many events in the past that are done to help foster kids are usually geared towards children, so she is appreciative that Christmas at the Capitol is putting teens at the forefront.

“Some kids get overlooked, especially teens, so for that to happen I’m really grateful.  It shows they haven’t forgot about us,” Serena said.

Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at the Capitol in the Old Supreme Courtroom on Monday, December 6 starting at 8 am.  Capitol Police will collect gifts throughout the week if someone is not able to make it on Monday.