The holidays can be a time of celebration, but for many kids and families, they can be a tough time. One of our young people, Alexandra*, told us:
"Christmas used to be one of the most important days of my life. I remember running to the tree after the Christmas Eve dinner, begging my parents to let me open an early gift. The holiday spirit seemed to change everyone's emotions to joy, making people around me smile as if it was contagious.
"Christmas was the best thing to happen to me...until I turned 11."
That year, Alexandra's mother suddenly became ill and they had no one to help provide for them. Her mother would beg and borrow money to feed her children, while going hungry herself. Alexandra said that that year, "Christmas came around, and the holly jolly feeling that I would get, had disappeared. We tried to be festive and have the tree up, but it didn't feel like the spirit was there."
She overheard her mother crying to a friend about not having enough for presents, barely scraping together enough rent. Alexandra said, "I had nothing but one thought in my mind: Will things ever be the same?"
Years later, reflecting as a young woman, she shared that while Christmas might never be quite what it was, something helped - knowing that there are friends like you who are stepping up to help kids like her. Alexandra said,
"When I see people go on to try and make the day better, it brings warmth to my heart. Seeing them take the time to make our days a bit more magical."
You can make the holidays magical for kids like Alexandra, giving them new memories of joy to cherish always. And a little goes a long way. Your gift of $25 can provide a gift card for one young person or family, while a gift of $250 can provide for 10 gift cards, and $500 can provide for 20.
So far, we've raised enough for 718 cards, and have just $7,000 left to reach our goal of 1,000 gift cards this holiday season!
Please join us in making this holiday season one that Alexandra and all of our kids will always remember with joy! Click here to make your gift: