Youth Villages staff share stories from families helped by Holiday Heroes in New England
Because of the generosity of supporters, Youth Villages fulfilled the holiday wishes of more than 440 youth in need from 236 families participating in our New England programs (which includes 78 adolescent girls living at the Youth Villages – Germaine Lawrence Campus – our newest program).
View a photo gallery featuring event photos, the words of volunteers and thank-you notes from the children.
Several specialists who work with youth and their families in their homes shared some heartwarming stories about how the gifts from Holiday Heroes made a difference this holiday season.
I work with a 19-year-old young lady who is entering her second semester in college while working part-time. One of the gifts this young lady received through the Holiday Heroes initiative was a winter jacket. When she pulled the winter jacket out of the bag, the look of excitement on her face was overwhelming. She was so excited to have a nice, warm jacket and loved the fact it had the fur on the hood! She said that she would never be cold again walking to school or work and was grateful that someone had thought of her during the holiday season. She even texted me the next day, and, once again, expressed her gratitude for the coat. She said she was walking to work and that the coat was awesome and keeping her nice and warm. She thanked me again for bringing her the coat and asked if I could thank whomever got it for her. I spoke with her this morning and again, she brought up the coat and was so thankful she had it because it was so cold out.
– Katie Ross, Transitional Living Specialist
Personally, I was in awe of the generosity of our Holiday Heroes. Every family I work with received gifts! As I helped one mother sort through the gifts for her four children, she informed me that the gifts the children received from Holiday Heroes were going to be ‘their best and favorite gifts.’ The thoughtfulness of individuals who sponsored children was amazing to me and I could tell that those gifts had been handpicked for each child based on their interests. I truly felt like I received a gift myself seeing the excitement and relief in the eyes of some of the parents I work with when I got to give them the gifts donated by our generous Holiday Heroes!
– Laura Nason, Intercept Specialist
I just wanted to thank everyone for all of their hard work and generosity this holiday season. I personally think this is the best initiative Youth Villages does. I felt so lucky to be able to ‘play Santa’ for the day and deliver all of the gifts to my families! More than one of the mothers I work with cried when she saw the bags of overflowing gifts for her kids. It’s so special that their children get to experience the Christmas they deserve and the parents are overjoyed to be able to provide that for them, thanks to our Holiday Heroes.
– Alexandria Culkeen, Intercept Specialist