Hundreds of generous Tulsans flocked to Family & Children’s Services during the holiday season to spread a little hope to our families in need. From bikes and coats to toys and necessities, more than 200 parents and children felt the support of this community, giving them strength to face the challenges that lie ahead.
It’s an honor to share a few of their stories.
Joanne couldn’t wait to instill the magic of Christmas in her 4-year-old daughter. But when Joanne’s utilities were cut off, so were her hopes.
Not long after, Joanne discovered that her daughter and elderly father would receive gifts through the Family & Children’s Services Holiday Assistance program, and she wept with joy. When she saw that some of the packages were for her, she wept even more.
Because of the community’s generosity, Joanne said she was also able to incorporate the thoughtfulness of others into Christmas for her daughter.
With three young girls in her care and a mother with Alzheimer’s Disease, the holidays brought much financial and even more emotional stress to 40-year-old Valerie. Despite this, she and her husband were dedicated to providing continued stability for Kaya, Kendra and Katy, who had spent much of their lives being shuffled around, neglected and abused.
Much to Valerie’s surprise, the girls’ trauma therapist at Family & Children’s Services nominated them for the Holiday Assistance program. “We’ve been truly blessed,” she said, her face full of gratitude as she saw a truckload of gifts arrive at her home.
And the gratitude didn’t stop there. Tara, the family’s trauma therapist, was overjoyed as well. “The support of the community helps us know that we’re not alone on the battle front. Watching families light up, feel blessed and have a moment of relief, provides me with relief, too.”
When Devon discovered his family had been adopted for Holiday Assistance, his face bore an expression his therapist had never seen before – hopeful.
You see, Devon and his three boys were in desperate need of household items, like a microwave, vacuum cleaner, pillows and blankets. And all four of them lacked necessities like underwear, socks, clothes, coats and hygiene products.
When the gifts arrived, he and his sons were full of smiles, gratitude and awe. It was truly a delivery of happiness for this family in need. They were so excited, they put everything immediately to use – even the vacuum cleaner!
More Reactions from Holiday Assistance Recipients
“Thank you for your generous donations to me and my family. I was overjoyed and very moved. I appreciate your kindness toward others, and it shows me that people still care in the world we live in today. You should have seen the look on my son’s face she he opened his presents.” ~Larry, age 35
“I’m going to be warm tonight.” ~Jack, age 8
“I just want to say thank you so much for my wonderful gifts. It’s not everyday that people think or care about others.” ~ Gianni, age 12