WOODBURY – “Every year, the Child Advocacy Center comes alive with the true spirit of the holiday season,” said Executive Director Sharon De Boer. “After the sponsors delivered the gifts, the Child Advocacy Center looked like Santa’s workshop filled with presents for needy families.”
Families picked up gifts and greeted Santa’s helpers with smiles, hugs, laughter, and tears of joy.
“It is such a great feeling for our staff and volunteers knowing that all these families are going to celebrate a happy Christmas,” said De Boer. “The holidays are a particularly stressful time of year for many of the needy families we serve. We are very grateful to all of the Secret Santa’s who have made children’s Christmas wishes come true this holiday season.”
A retired grandmother could not contain her tears when she picked up the gifts for her four grandchildren she is raising alone on a fixed income. She told Cannon County Coordinator Susan Lankheet she "never dreamed people could be so generous. I can't wait to see the children's faces when they see all of these presents on Christmas morning.”
One of the fathers picked up the gifts and said to Family Services Coordinator Jennifer Gamble, "I am a single father raising three kids and I am so blessed to be sponsored this year. I know without the Child Advocacy Center my kids would not have any gifts. This is helping us so much!"
It warmed the Child Advocacy Center staff’s hearts to know that all of these families had a happy ending to a very difficult year.
When asked why his family chose to sponsor a needy family this holiday season, Jeff Brown from Dempsey, Vantrease, and Follis responded, “Families supported by the Child Advocacy Center have been very deeply hurt. By sponsoring a family, we hope we can help alleviate some of the hurt and demonstrate that someone cares about them, especially in such difficult circumstances.”
Lori Glaze from State Farm Payment Plan Management Team said that they sponsor needy families every year because, "These families have gone through trying times and if there is a little something we can do to help them out, we believe it's our mission. We believe in being good neighbors of the community and enjoy looking for ways to give back."
De Boer said, “It is the belief of the Child Advocacy Center that children deserve the best, especially in their times of crisis. We want to thank Jeff and Lori and all of the Secret Santa’s for sharing that belief and making the holidays a joyous season for the families we serve.”
For additional information on ways you can get involved and help child abuse victims contact Susan Lankheet at the Cannon County Child Advocacy Center at 563-9915.