JFS Perspectives

Friday, January 04, 2019

Thank You for Your Bright Holidays Generosity!

Thank You for Your Bright Holidays Generosity!

Last month, many generous individuals, organizations, and corporations collected holiday gifts for JFS clients through our Bright Holidays program. Donors provided gifts in three ways:

Adopt-a-Family: JFS staff members from all program areas referred their clients needing holiday assistance to the Family Safety Net department. Donors received stories about the families’ circumstances, children’s ages, sizes, and wish list items, and then purchased hand-selected gifts for 155 individuals from 42 households.

Below is an example of a story an Adopt-a-Family donor received about the family for whom they were purchasing gifts:

A Syrian family fled the country to find a safe place to live. Although they are safe in Denver, it has been very difficult as they continue to worry about other family members still in Syria. Several family members were killed recently in the war, including the children’s father. The family also struggles financially. The single mother of two children has been able to find work, but gets paid minimum wage. They have requested warm pajamas, socks, coats, laundry supplies, and toiletries from the Bright Holidays program.

Although this family did not request non-essential items, such as toys, the donors generously provided some “fun” items the mother could wrap up for Christmas as well.

Client shopping for holiday giftsSecret Shopper Program: JFS clients registered for the program and requested gifts for their children from a list we provided. Donors purchased toys and gift cards through our Amazon Wish List and had them shipped to JFS. Volunteers helped us turn our Board Room into a pop-up toy store. Parents then selected the gifts they wanted and took them home to wrap. We distributed gifts to 207 kids from 68 households through this program.

Holiday Helper Program: This program was great for last-minute shoppers! Donors purchased any toys they wanted and dropped them off at JFS. Pantry client families who hadn’t signed up for specific gifts got to choose items right before the holidays when they came to shop in the pantry. Eighty-seven children from 40 households received these gifts.

Bright Holidays volunteersMany community members also donated money or gift cards to the program. A big thank-you to Lockheed Martin for providing gifts for 84 people from 15 households and to Temple Emanuel Sisterhood for organizing a large toy collection from the congregation's religious school. Thank you to Andrea Stillman, who once again donated many hours to help us shop for and organize gifts. And thank you to Kallista Hammer, Cheryl Sanders, Kris Abbey Saucke, Leslie Tucker, and Lisa Zales who helped distribute gifts.

In total, 533 individuals from 165 households received gifts this year! We couldn't have done it without the outpouring of community support. Thank you for making the holidays bright for families in need.