Mortgage broker, anonymous businessman donate gifts for foster kids

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MIDDLETOWN -- Some community supporters are playing Santa for a number of children in the care of the Department of Children and Families this Christmas week.

Every effort was made to make sure kids living at the Solnit Center, which cares for some children who were neglected or abused, got gifts this year.

"Today we're here to celebrate what the community gives back," said Michelle Sarofin, the superintendent of the Solnit Center.

In the facility's gym, a Christmas tree was flanked by 10 new mountain bikes -- a gift given by an anonymous donor.

"I think it's an awesome idea," said 18-year-old Josh Favreau, who lives under DCF care at the Solnit North campus in East Windsor. "It's so generous," he added.

Todd Marino, a mortgage officer from Middletown, attended the small ceremony in the gym to deliver his donation of $1,100 -- more than enough to provide plenty of gifts for a group of foster kids.

"I feel great doing this for the kids," Marino said. "I can't imagine what it would be like not to be with your family and in a home during the holiday week."

Luis Jimenez, a 15-year-old who has been under the care of the Solnit Center for the past 10 months said, "I think it's a really nice gesture that people out in the community care about us."

"I feel like a lot of the times people hear things like there's nobody out there that cares about them, but then when you get all these gifts and you realize they're donated, it's like 'Wow, people actually do care,'" said Maddie Hartnett, an 18-year-old.

Superintendent Sarofin added, "They will wake up on Christmas morning and be the happiest kids, and that means the world."

To find out how you can help kids at the with gift donations at the Solnit Center, email Jackie Ford at the DCF:

To find out more about adoption in Connecticut click here.