January 14, 2022 –Holiday lights illuminate the family living room. Carol choruses echo down the street. Wrapping paper and ribbons adorn treasures for family and friends. These are just a few sights and sounds of the holiday season. However, what does the holiday season mean at the Advocacy Center? Well, it means a whole lot more.
Our annual Holiday Project is a labor of love as it takes a lot of coordination and strategic planning. Historically, Holiday Project has served 1,000 children annually.
Preparing to serve that many children – collecting the toys, promoting the event, requesting referrals from staff, coordinating volunteers and so much more, begins many months in advance. As a team, once it is all said and done, we always love sharing with our community the heartwarming experiences our volunteers and staff had with our clients.
This year, one of our staff members shared a story from our Holiday Shop, where a caregiver was looking for a specific LOL toy for her daughter and it could not be found.
Our staff member returned from the backstock area holding THE perfect toy, and the caregiver embraced her with tears streaming down her face and said, “I just can’t thank you enough.”
Another heart-warming Holiday Shop story was when one of our volunteers was trying to help a caregiver find a Pokémon toy for her son. When they were not able to find one, the volunteer said, “What about a new bike for both your daughter and son?”
“This is even better! He won’t even remember asking for the Pokémon! Thank you so much!” the caregiver exclaimed.
Also, this year, one of our Adopt-a-Family donors helped a family furnish their house with a couch, dining table, and a bed – helping make the house more of a home for the grandmother and children she is now caring for. The joy on all of their faces as their new things were placed in the house could not be measured.
This is all just a glimmer of the hope that is the Holiday Project.
For the families we serve, this year has been difficult all on its own without even factoring in the trauma they have experienced from child abuse. Our Holiday Project allows staff, donors, and volunteers the opportunity to lighten their load. The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but for a brief moment we experience a “hot chocolate to the heart” as we look in our client’s eyes and see genuine relief and overwhelming gratitude.
The Center is a place of hope and healing. We are a nonprofit organization that provides support services for abused and neglected children and their family members. One of the support services we provide is the Holiday Project, and it is one of the most favorite times of year for our CAC staff.
You can experience the holiday magic for yourself by watching our Holiday Project 2021 highlights video by clicking HERE.