For the last three years, we have celebrated the holidays by sponsoring Holiday Blessings to help our community and participants. We invite our staff and board members to submit applications for families that are in need of support during the holiday season. Staff then buy gifts for the children of the families through a Giving Tree. This year, it was our pleasure to sponsor four applicants.
Of the recipients, one was a participating Community Care Hub family from Portage, PA who is expecting their third child. They had no idea about the nomination. When we delivered the gifts purchased and gift cards, they were so surprised. The mother was almost brought to tears and her children did not stop smiling and giggling as they opened and played with their new toys.
Another recipient was a family of three whose daughter, Ava (6), is battling a second round of cancer. As a way to support the family as they make trips back and forth from the Cleveland Clinic, the agency purchased gift cards for gas and food. Ava’s face lit up with joy as she received the box of gifts purchased by staff.
A participant from the Altoona area has been unable to leave her home over the last few months because of a broken garage door. The door doubles as the only handicap accessible entryway to her home. As part of the Holiday Blessings, the agency is sponsoring the cost to get the garage door replaced with a new door and electronic door opener. We can’t wait to see the final product and for her to have the freedom to leave her home again.
Due to COVID-19, one of our participants from the Pittsburgh area has been unable to take part in activities at the senior high rise where she lives. These activities help her fine motor skills and maintain her diabetes flares. One of our staff members took it upon themselves to sponsor her by purchasing clay, coloring books, and supplies to gift for her.
Each year we are blown away by the generosity of our staff, sponsors, and community. 2020 has been a difficult year for all, yet this does not hinder their generosity. Being able to touch the lives of those in our community with their kindness, is heartwarming. Seeing their faces light up with joy, a weight lifting from their shoulders, and a smile spread across their face is why we do what we do. Offering Holiday Blessings is as much a blessing to us as it is to those on the receiving end. It thrills us to host another year of blessings and we look forward to offering them many years into the future.