This is a story of four families of single mothers with children who could not afford a gift for their children for Christmas. Two of the mothers live in government housing and the other two live in transitional housing with their children. We here at Heritage Foundation Community & Economic Development searched for families who had children that loved to read. Our first child was a 9 year-old little boy who has grown up in poverty with only old books and magazines for toys. He would begin to trace over the pictures wishing he could read something fun. This mother was referred to me and I met with her and assured her that the Heritage Foundation CED would make sure her son received a gift. Our second child is a 10 year-old little girl who loves books and drawing. She lives with her mother and little brother and the mother is disabled. I asked the little girl what she wanted for Christmas and she said a computer so she could learn more about writing stories. We told her that we were not able to get a computer but would love for her to have a NOOK tablet to get her started. Both her and the mother began to cry and gave us a big hug and told us we did not understand what this means to her little girl and thanked us for caring. The third child is an amazing 12 year-old little girl who lives with her grandmother because of abuse, but she never allowed that to steal her dreams of wanting to become a teacher. The grandmother is on a fixed income and could not afford the things her granddaughter desired that could help her in reading. We went to the home and presented the little girl with the Nook, and she could not stop screaming with joy. We were overjoyed for her with all she had to endure. Our fourth child is an 8 year-old little boy who has had problems with reading and comprehending what he reads. He is a child who also has been through much physical and mental abuse, but has such a huge smile that will light up a room. He loves to talk and want sso much to really understand when he reads. He lives with a grandmother who is not well and also suffers with a speech impediment. We presented the Nook to the child and again that smile penetrated the entire room with joy. The grandmother could not speak because of the joy she saw on the face of her grandchild, who never complained. We at Heritage Foundation Community and Economic Development would like to sincerely thank Good360 for the opportunity to be a blessing to four children who would not have been given the opportunity to receive a gift for Christmas, nor a gift of reading. We realize that it was never the gift, but the gift of giving to see the joy and happiness on a child’s face. To all the staff at Good360, you ROCK! Kind regards, Pamela Berry Executive Director Heritage Foundation Community & Economic Development
Thank you Good360 for being our newest partner. For over 7 years, Living Waters--West LA has walked beside hundreds of families each year. Our 2013 Holiday Outreach was especially moving. Over 400 people stood in the rain, under plastic coverings and umbrellas, and many sat in their vehicles waiting for the event to begin at 11 a.m. (Some came as early as 4 a.m.). Families came as far as 40 miles to not only get toys for their children but also household products, new clothing and personal hygiene products for the entire family. Out of the many moving moments, there is one that stands out. There was a family that through life's challenges were now homeless, yet still together. Their caseworker told them about the Holiday Outreach. This family of five traveled on the bus for over 1.5 hours to receive gifts for their children. Not only did the children receive; we made certain each member of that family received a special gift. We are a small organization, powered by the gifts of those who share our passion for those in need. Thank you for caring for the greater good!
Our 7th grade algebra students just received their new HP graphing calculators. The student on the far right of the photo just created her first graph on the calculator and we captured her reaction. Our math nerds love their new graphing calculators! Thank you! ~Shari Youtz, St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School, Woodbridge, Va.
“All too often, children living with cancer will identify with the sickness rather than the innocent, fun-loving children they truly are. As a consequence of their rigorous treatments, many miss out on experiencing the activities that healthy children take for granted: play dates with friends, birthday parties with family or the thrill of riding a school bus! Bear-Able Gifts, a program of Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation, gives back a piece of their youth and childhood. The program provides quarterly packages of gifts, games and toys to children receiving treatment for cancer in children's hospitals oncology centers all across the country. The program creates an escape from cancer and allows children to rediscover their childhoods by enjoying the smiles, laughter and hope that can be found in opening a package. Through Bear-Able Gifts, children living with cancer enjoy the opportunity to play with a new stuffed animal, try out a new card game during a treatment or express their creativity through the use of arts and crafts and journaling. All of the gifts distributed through this program are donated; Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation does not purchase any toys or other items. The success of Bear-Able Gifts is owed to the generosity of Gifts In Kind International, its partner organizations and many other philanthropic groups and corporations. Product donations of books, journals, crafts, activity sets, plush and other miscellaneous toys allow the Bear-Able Gift program to continue creating smiles and inspiring hope. On behalf of Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation, thank you for your contributions to children with cancer. You've made an otherwise gloomy hospital stay much brighter!” -Sara Wagner, Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
I just wanted to thank you for connecting our agency to JC Penney/Silver Lining Studios. The furniture that we received was beyond what we expected. We currently have 3 Transitional Living Homes and we will start soon to refurnish the apartments with our newly acquired donations (smile). Mr. Haines and his staff were wonderful to work with. They helped our movers with packing all the furniture. The furniture could fit into a 40ft truck and we only had a 15ft truck. We made several trips and Mr. Haines and his staff were helpful each time. Once again thanks for your help. - Lakeside Community Center
Community Cares is an AmeriCorps program designed to serve low income seniors and people of all ages with disabilities. We serve 2,000 of this many times forgotten population by direct services such as; light housekeeping, cognitive activities, grocery shopping and delivering meals to those who cannot cook for themselves and cannot get on the very long list for Meals on Wheels. We provide much needed companionship and transportation services as well. Our seniors and disabled live on less than 1,000 a month and have no others to take care for them. Our mission has always been and continues to be that we provide enough direct services so that they can remain living in their own homes with a sense of pride and dignity. The Gifts In Kind International program has been a marvelous way for a program on a low budget like mine to aid this very special population. Imagine the eyes of a senior whose only Christmas present might be a free piece of jewelry to make them feel special or some hygiene products that they never could afford themselves. The TCAC Gifts In Kind program has been instrumental in getting needed items for our seniors. - Evonne Bennett, AmeriCorps Director
Baby Buggy is thrilled to be participating in Good360’s Retail Partnership. Last week, we received another great shipment of essential baby items that we need to support our network of community-based partners. These crib mattresses, car seats, educational toys, breastfeeding supplies, diapers, and swings will help mothers and fathers in need to ensure the safety and well-being of their children. We are so grateful to Good360 for making this incredible connection for our nonprofit. ~Katherine Snider, Executive Director