By Elia Rocha
At no other time is the giving spirit of our community of supporters better illustrated than during the holiday season. Right after Thanksgiving, we host our annual Holiday Cheer fundraiser, an auction and party that we hope will generate enough income to cover a significant portion of our operating expenses for the following year. Every year, we spend months planning Holiday Cheer, and worrying about meeting our goal, and every year, our community of supporters comes out in full force to get us there. This year did not disappoint. Holiday Cheer brought in nearly $200,000! An amazing result, and we are all so thrilled and so grateful.
Then there's the Holiday Store. The week before Christmas, we set up a temporary "store" in our administrative offices at The Play House North. We organize donations of toys, clothes, shoes, & personal care products and invite current and alumni parents to select and wrap gifts for their children. This year, our parents were able to select gifts for 125 children.
We received some amazing things too. Besides all the new toys, clothes, and shoes, we had donors knit and sew us dozens of beautiful scarves and cozy blankets. These were real labors of love.
While it undoubtedly feels great to give, it sometimes is hard to receive. We recognize how difficult the holidays must be for some of our families, how ambivalent some parents might feel about not being in a position to buy their children gifts themselves, and instead have to rely on other people's donations. That's why the graciousness and sincere gratitude our parents express to us and to all of our holiday donors is a gift in itself. One parent even made us her signature banana pudding as a thank you. It was delicious.
To all of you who have donated to Children Today in 2013 and have kept us and our families in your thoughts, we thank you. Happy Holidays from the Children Today family.
Various members of the Children Today staff contribute to these blog posts.