The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, which means that this match was likely meant to be. CHOICES was already scheduling gift deliveries from donors for our adopt a family program. It was late afternoon when one of our therapists inquired about adding a family to the list who was starting our home-based program. Due to the difficulties of 2020 Mom had shared that the family would not be able to provide Christmas for the kids and she had been working to prepare them for the news. Our response was “YES! We can add them to our list of families to help.” Our therapist, Tracey, gathered a Christmas list for the kids and families that evening prior to leaving the assessment.
Early evening we received an email from Kristin, who wanted to help a family for the Christmas season and was willing to donate monetarily or gift cards. Our Development Director shared that we actually added a family to our list a few hours ago, and that we were getting a list together. For this family the therapist actually would be shopping for the family since Mom has some health concerns keeping her away from the stores during the pandemic.
Kristin was quick to reply, however, it was discovered that we were here in Ohio and she was located in Virginia. We communicated that this was no issue for us, but we know that donors often want to help in their own community and if she rather seek out a partner in Virginia we understood. Instead, she rallied other families in her network from her children’s school and they were all on board with donating to help this family in Dayton, Ohio. Kristin being a therapist in the DC area knew we were limited on the information we could share about the family and kids.
Through emails and a phone call our plan unfolded rather quickly. We were able to share some information about the family and Kristin’s kids ages 11, 9 and 3 and friends got busy making cards for the Dayton family for us to share with the gift delivery. They wanted to know that despite the distance they were thinking of them this holiday season! We shared what types of toys the kids wished for and other needs the family had. Our plan was to purchase new pillows, bedding and blankets among other household needs for them too. Our HBS therapist, Tracey and her husband played a huge role too. Both volunteering their time to shop for the family and wrap all the presents in preparation for delivery.
Then things got a little more special when Tracey had the idea of reaching out to Santa to see if maybe he had some time to squeeze in a special delivery for two kiddos! With the permission of the parents a time was set up for Tracy’s next visit and the great SURPRISE! Proving that HELPING and KINDNESS knows no distance or boundaries. The group of Virginia families donated to CHOICES to support the shopping trip. The kids in Virginia provided cards and a photo of themselves and Santa was ready to make a special delivery.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of the “magic” of Christmas and the power of helping others. For whatever reason these Virginia families were led to us via google search and were able to make this season memorable for a family in Dayton, OH who was very much in need of some kindness and JOY.
The kids were able to pick one gift to open from Santa and then were also given a family game to open and then play for their session with Tracey. The plan was to wait until Christmas morning to open the other gifts. The families in Virginia really enjoyed seeing the pictures of the kids with Santa. (permission granted by the parents) They said it was the best gift they could have received on Christmas Eve! They look forward to how they can help a family in 2021!
CHOICES, Inc. is a non-profit serving Southwest Ohio. Our mission is to bring change to youth and families by providing personalized services and building safe environments. Our Christmas efforts are 100% fully funded by donations. In typical years CHOICES hosts a foster family Christmas party and independent living Christmas party. Our generous partners and community sponsor the parties, gifts, winter coats, meals, tress and decor, and adopt a family program. While our drives for 2020 had to be amended our generous donors will still able to fulfill all of our socially distanced Christmas wishes! If you wish you donate to our mission please click here. For questions or media inquiry please contact Ashley Pester, Development Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 264-0084 ext. 122.