You don’t need to look far to experience the warmth and kindness of 200 donors as they provided holiday cheer to Family & Children’s Services’ families in need – 1,234 children and families were treated to an extraordinary surprise Christmas with gifts of clothes, bikes, toys, books, holiday meals and so much more through the annual F&CS Holiday Assistance program.
For so many F&CS clients, December is a month filled with difficult decisions. Many low and no income families want to give presents to their children and are tempted to skip paying bills in lieu of gifts. The Holiday Assistance program was created to help our neediest families with this type of holiday stress.
Donors had two ways to give: Adopt-a-Family or donate to the F&CS Santa Shop. This year, 7% more families were adopted, a program that matches individual and corporate donors to F&CS families in need. The way it works is that each F&CS caseworker and therapist identified just one client that is active in treatment and has more need of resource assistance.
Other F&CS families were helped through the F&CS “Santa Shop,” a is the place where caseworkers can help provide for their clients’ needs. One-hundred percent of donations are given to overburdened individuals in the form of 1701 HUGS (hats, underwear, gloves and socks), 190 books, 123 coats and 1340 toys, clothing, pajamas, games, small household items and grocery cards. Up 32%, Tulsa area businesses made up 103 of the 200 donors.
One company that gave 500% more was Humble Sons Bike Company. Through their “Bikes for Kids” campaign launched with K95.5 (Tulsa’s New Country Leader), radio personality Natalie Cash climbed a scaffolding in Drysdale’s parking lot and lived in a tent until 955 bikes were collected for Tulsa area kids. F&CS received 300 of those bikes and helmets (up from 50 in 2016) through the generosity of anonymous donors, Two Men and a Truck and Academy Sports. Children from F&CS’s Women in Recovery, Child Abuse and Trauma, Children’s Mental Health and Comprehensive Home-Based Services will receive the bikes just in time for Christmas. Humble Sons have been donating bikes to F&CS children for ten years.
The magic of gratitude overflowed when Natalie, a child who was gifted a Bratz doll from the Santa Shop, cried, “I can’t believe it! I’ve always wanted a Bratz doll! Thank you … thank you.”
The clients we serve are grateful to all of our donors who helped make the holidays warmer and brighter. We gratefully pause a wish you a warm and happy new year.
If you would like to help all year long, please consider making a donation to F&CS.