Welcome back to the blog on Boxing Day 2013, we hope your holidays are going well and wish you the best for the New Year. I thought I’d add something a little different today and share some goodwill that is lovely to read about and reinforces the wonderful work that nonprofits do all year round, but that extra helping hand at the holidays can extra special.
Here are just a few of the highlights that I have read about over the last few days as nonprofits everywhere continue to make a difference to millions of people in huge ways.
Arizona – A mysterious Santa Claus dropped into local nonprofit Circle the City (a non-profit agency where homeless people no longer in need of hospital care) and asked for a tour of the facility to see how they are doing. A few days later the self-same Santa arrives with two U-Haul trucks and a flower van full of clothes, shoes, electronics, flowers and Christmas decorations that he had donated to the organization. Read the full story on the Arizona Republic site.
Baltimore – Santa Claus Anonymous (what a great name) celebrated their 79th year by mailing out over 15,000 $15 gift certificates to children selected by social services organizations based on need. The gift certificates — which can be used only for children’s items — are honoured at a dozen stores, mostly local businesses. What might seem a small gesture can make all the difference in the world to a child on Christmas morning. Please read more about their efforts on the Baltimore Sunwebsite.
Dallas - Just a few days after a historically bad ice storm three struggling families were offered hope rather than homelessness over the holidays and beyond. One of those, 25-year-old Tiffany Finkley had filled her car with her clothes and 2-month-old son’s belongings. Following a few years of shelter living she didn’t know what to expect next, but due to the work by Interfaith Community Services and Mercy House she met Vonnie Salguero in Dallas who handed her the keys to an apartment that had been lovingly put together by Salguero and volunteers: a floral-print couch, a decorated Christmas tree, brand-new toothbrushes and cleaning supplies in the drawers and closets and baked spaghetti for the first night’s dinner. Read the full story at DallasNews.com
12 year old Wynter Guess (carrying the plates) donated her time at Christmas to those in need (image courtesy Winston Salem Journal)
North Carolina – For the second consecutive year 12-year-old Wynter Guess (pictured) was able to give back to her community rather than receive anything for herself. This year she decided against a new iPhone and instead helped new nonprofit LifeWishes (website to follow) to begin. For Christmas she helped to serve over 100 breakfasts whilst about 50 volunteers also handed out gifts to those in need. Read more about Wynter over at JournalNow.com
Winnipeg – Organization is what’s so often needed and with that in mind it is wonderful to see Winnipeg’s Christmas Cheer Board pool together the efforts of numerous local nonprofits to ensure the most efficient coverage for those in need in the city. Whether it’s a Christmas tree, some warm clothes or a hot meal that is needed, over 2,500 volunteers work together to spread hope around the city. The organization have formed an impressive alliance with local businesses and also networked to set up more than 50 drop off locations for toys and groceries throughout Winnipeg.
Stories like these take place every day and I do hope you enjoyed some of the above. If there is a local nonprofit you’d like to spotlight please share the news in the comments.