NORFOLK - The holidays often mean spending time with family, but thousands of children in Virginia have no family.

November is Adoption Awareness Month and the Up Center, Hampton Roads' largest non-profit social services agency, has several events to highlight children in need of forever families.

The Virginia Department of Social Services says nearly 1 out of every 5 children waiting to be adopted in Virginia are in our Hampton Roads community. More than 1,000 kids are in foster care.

Parents and families interested in foster care and adoption should attend. Each event is free and will provide educational information for parents wishing to become adoptive parents.

The Up Center's gift collection is underway. Children's names, ages and wish lists are indicated on each star on the tree. The gift drive at Pembroke Mall in Va. Beach ends Dec. 8. Location: Pembroke Mall, 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach

The Up Center is located at 222 W. 19th Street in Norfolk. For information on adoption, programs and the Star Tree Holiday Drive, you can go to the Website or call 622-7017.

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