Hi there, I would like to send you my story as we could use a bit of help this holiday season. The last 2 years have been hard for us as my husband is in the construction industry and with things slowing down as far as the housing market, our work does as well. I have 3 children - 2 girls (4 and 20 months) and 1 boy(2 months). Last year my children each received a couple toys that were things I had messed up when doing orders for others and a pair of hand me down pajamas, this year doesn't even look that good. Right now they will each get a stocking cap that I am knitting with yarn that was given to me and that is all. My 4 year old has been asking for anything she sees but she really wants a Barbie. She talks about Santa as they are learning about holidays in preschool and has told me that she will get a new toy for sure this year because Santa will bring it to her. It puts tears in my eyes and breaks my heart because I don't know if I can make that happen. Our family lives across the state and we are not even able to go visit and times are tough for them as well, so its not even for sure they will have any gifts to give this year. More than anything I want my children to remember the fun of the holidays not their mom crying because she can't even provide for them.
When we told the family they had been selected as a winner - here are some of the things they had to say:
"That is the greatest news I have heard! Your news has me in tears, and makes the fact that my 20 month old has the flu and won't stop throwing up a bit easier to deal with. Thank you so much, you can't even imagine what this means for myself and my family.I am sure that it will make for a much happier 10 days in my life as I know that things will be happy here Christmas morning!! Thank you so much, it means the world and I hope that next year I can even help to sponsor your program."
The 2nd winning family is family number 7. This is their story:
I would normally never dream of nominating my own family, but due to extreme economic hardship this year I am willing to swallow my pride and nominate my 2 children. I have 2 amazing little boys ages 1 year old, and an "almost" 6 year old. I had to stop working due to illness that has been keeping me down for close to 2 years and the Doctors have yet to find an answer, therefore we slimmed down to one car and I became a stay-at-home mom. Financially all was well, until about 7 months ago when my husbands company had to lay him off in what was their first lay off EVER! We struggled to get by with the little money he received from Unemployment and "side jobs" he could find while also looking for a new job and loans from friends and family. He was finally called back to work after 3 1/2 months, only to be laid off again 2 months ago. We are still drowning in debt from the first layoff and have struggled to keep life as normal as possible for our children while having episodes with no utilities, very little food, and on the verge of losing our apartment and car. Thankfully my husband was called back into work again starting this week and he is also still looking for more stable employment, but we will definitely not be able to catch up enough to give our boys the Christmas that they deserve. I feel awful even having to write this, as I am used to being the one on the other end of the spectrum, trying to find ways to help out others in need and teach my children to be charitable and that it is our responsibilty in life to give back to others. But for the first time ever, I am humbled in being the one in need.
When we told this family that they had been selected...this is a little of what they had to say:
OMG!!!! I cannot even begin to tell you how much this means to us! To see my children smile on Christmas morning is the best gift I could ever ask for! I know that material things are not the important things in life and I try hard to teach my children that, but as parents we just want to give our children everything and make sure they don't feel left out. It is so painful when you are struggling to even give them the basic necessities and they see others with such an abundance. My older son came home from school the other day so excited about all of the things his friends had told him they were asking Santa Claus for for Christmas and he said "I can't wait to see what Santa brings me, Mommy!" It broke my heart thinking that he would be disappointed. What you and all of the sponsors and people who have donated are doing is just incredible. As I said before, I know that the blessings you are giving to others, especially complete strangers(!), will come back to you 100 fold! You have made our Christmas the most magical ever!I'm so excited!! This may just be the best Christmas ever!!
Make sure to check back after Christmas because both families will be sharing a little about their holiday experience with us! I know I can't wait to hear all about it!! Also please take a moment to visit our kind sponsors, aka Santa's Elves. They are the reason this was possible!