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Be the bright light in a child’s Christmas this year

November 9, 2016

At Family & Children’s Place, our ultimate goal is ensuring better childhoods. We strive to do that by helping children and families that have been hurt by violence and abuse overcome the trauma and heal, recapturing happy, healthy childhood and family moments most of us take for granted.

livy-and-christmas-treeA joyous part of childhood is Christmas – the colors, the music, the excitement, and let’s be honest, the gifts! But not all children have a Christmas to look forward to. Stress, issues within families and finances too often play the Grinch, especially for children and families we serve.

Enter Brighter Holidays, our “sponsor a child and help provide the best Christmas possible,” program.

It works like this: Each child and family – we’re aiming to help 275-300 children – completes a wish list with the child’s name, age, clothing sizes, wants and needs. Sponsors receive the information and shop for the kids, up to $75 per child, returning the gifts to Family & Children’s Place to be distributed just before Christmas to the families.

We can’t do this on our own, so we need help. The children and families need your help.

Our child clients deal with very serious issues – physical, sexual and emotional abuse, violence in the home, problems at school and home, neighborhood drug and substance abuse. They come fragile, broken, with little hope, so Brighter Holidays is a part of rebuilding that hope and helping them heal.

Here’s a snapshot of a couple of the children. We will call them Rachel and Nancy, to protect their identities.

Rachel is 13, Nancy, 6, and both love spending time with her family. They love arts and crafts, movies, science-related stuff, the outdoors and board games. Rachel needs a coat for winter, shoes, pants, undergarments, and hopes for “anything that smells good,” lotions, sprays, and “anything for her hair.” She hopes for art materials and science kits.

Nancy needs a new coat, too, shoes, undergarments, and shirts. Like most children, she hopes for toys – board games, a Barbie, a train set, dinosaurs, a basketball, movies and a learning pad.

Typical wants and needs for non-typical children.  Through Brighter Holidays, you have a chance to provide some normalcy to these children’s lives, some joy and happiness as they resolve difficult issues. Be the bright light in a child’s Christmas this year. Email or call volunteer coordinator Shannon McRae at, or 502-235-1511, or information or to sponsor a child.