A big thank you to our founding donors!
A big thank you to our founding donors!
In 2016 we got the idea to sponsor a family for Christmas. We wanted to make sure we chose a local family as we wanted to make a local impact. At that time, we had no idea the journey we were about to embark on. In trying to narrow it down to one family, we were unable, so we chose two! Two very deserving families. The highlight of this first year was to see the looks on the faces of four children who had expected nothing and two parents who were completely unaware this was going to happen. The father had lost his job at GM in October, where he had worked for 14 years, the mother was 8 months pregnant and on bed rest. This was a family, who on paper, had it all together, yet had their entire lives shaken up just before the most amazing holiday season of the year. They didn’t qualify for much help because again, on paper, they were in a great spot. The family didn’t want to ask for help and in fact, never did ask for anything. A friend of the family reached out and we were able to turn around this holiday for a family who was in a very bad spot.
In 2017, we were able to sponsor six families, totaling 19 children. When I began the search for these families, I was contacted by a member of the court system who pointed me to a husband and wife who were in desperate need of help. After doing a little more research, I had no idea this would be a family that would stick with me the rest of my life. This man and woman had volunteered years before to be temporary caregivers for children who were survivors of sexual assault by a family member. There were five kids in this house, two of which were children of the husband and wife and three siblings who were recently removed from their parent’s care. The three recently removed children ranged from ages 3 to 14 and had been sexually abused for their entire lives. The children were recently placed with the husband and wife less than a month prior to Christmas and they were in no position to purchase any gifts. In fact, when I asked them what the kids wanted, I was told “They all have one pair of pants, a shirt, and two of them have one pair of shoes.” None of the children had a second pair of clothes, winter clothes, coats, boots, etc. They had nothing. We were able to not only get them all the winter necessities, we were able to get them a lot of clothes, as well as the toys these poor children deserved. One of the most overlooked pieces of donating is the affect it has on you. Let me tell you, when this story was told to the donors, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t cry knowing how far their money went with this family.
In 2018, we grew much faster than I could have imagined. We were able to help 12 families and purchased over 310 gifts. The families this year ranged from a family who had spent the past 3 months traveling to and from Mott Children Hospital to support their youngest child who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer and were unable to provide a true Christmas to their other children to a father of three whose wife had just passed away two months before. While these families will forever leave an impact on our hearts, the highlight of this year was to see families from the past two years each come back to me asking how they could help.
Not only were they willing to donate their time in wrapping the presents, they were also coming back with monetary donations towards the new families. One of the fathers from the prior year had told me that not only did we help him take care of his family, we had inspired him to help others. He now had a great job and his family spent one weekend a month donating their time for local charities as a result of the lasting impact we had on them.
So that’s great, right? At Christmas you can make a difference for families and individuals who need help. But what about the rest of the year? We knew we had to do more. We had willing members of the community who wanted to help, but didn't know how. Enter Connceting The Dots!