During the holiday season there is a spirit of generous giving that is almost contagious. As the liaison for our nonprofit arm, ShelterKids, I get to see the direct impact that has on teens and families with not only emotional and mental needs, but physical needs as well.
One of our therapists is working with a family that was on the verge of homelessness. The father recently lost his job, mother is having health problems and they barely had enough to pay half of December’s rent. Add to that the stresses of three teenagers who were hoping for gifts this month but the parents not really knowing how to provide them. One of the teens has Aspergers, another Autism. When I saw their simple wish list, I was surprised and awed: A pillow pet. Legos. Hygiene kits.
Needless to say I was excited when that same morning I had a phone call from a company whose employees were looking to donate to a family with three children. I immediately sent them over the wish list items, explaining the family situation and that if anyone would like to help with the rent money that would be greatly appreciated.
What a surprise when a few days later the same company called to tell me they had not only paid the December and January rent for this family but would also be providing them with the wish list items. When they came to drop off the donations, they not only brought the presents for the teens but also included a gift for mom, a gift for dad and a $200 gift card for groceries.
Needless to say the family was overwhelmed and extremely grateful. The donors will never meet the family that they helped but the family will never forget their generosity and the impact it has had for them this holiday season. I am grateful this holiday season to see others in paying it forward to those in need when it counts the most.