The holidays bring many emotions to the families we serve at KIDS Center. Some families are still processing the traumatic events that brought them to KIDS Center, many are healing while working on adjusting to their life that looks very different now, and some families that have moved forward are ready to talk about new traditions and life changes.
As Family Advocates we meet each family where they are and support them through their very difficult situations. Providing support and community resources can help relieve some stressors so they can focus on steps to healing. Many families need help finding safe housing, qualified therapists and referrals to other victim service programs. We also provide immediate needs like clothing, food, gas, and toiletries. We continue to follow-up with the families for as long as they need it. Every family’s story is different so needs vary and are tailored to each individual family.
During the holidays our Family Advocate team reaches out to many of the families they support to see if they need any holiday assistance. Every family’s needs are unique and some need support in ways that others might not. The help we offer can include a Christmas tree delivered to their home, a few gifts for each child in the household, help with food, or gifts for the entire family…even the caregivers!
One of my favorite memories from this past holiday season was when an entire family was provided gifts from a local business, then that local business connected the family with another organization that showed up with new furniture for the family during their move. The looks on their faces were priceless, and the tears of joy were so heartfelt. Mom said “The kids had the best Christmas they’ve EVER had. We were and still are completely blown away! I can’t believe how generous everyone was and what incredible gifts were given to all of us. What an incredible blessing to be loved on so much by our community. It was an incredible experience! I get chills and teary every time I think or talk about it. THANK YOU so much for coordinating all of this. You’ve been a bright light for us during a dark time. I deeply appreciate you.”
Because of our giving community with huge hearts we were able to serve over 70 families during the 2019 holiday season! We are overwhelmed year after year by our community’s generosity. A big thank you to the following business and individuals who made a big impact this year: Central Oregon Landcruiser’s, St. Charles Lab, Bend Transitional Care, Broken Top Ladies Club, Fred Real Estate Group, Salon Envy, G5, Wildhorse Harley-Davidson, The Dailey Method, Welcome Home Experience, The Mead Family, and Lisa Weare. Just like these incredible businesses, YOU can make a huge difference in these children and families’ lives! And, we have ways you can take action throughout the year. We are always in need of gift cards, toiletries, adult coloring books, and sketch pads, $5 coffee cards for teens, or donate to our Family Support Program because our families have unique needs. Some fun ideas could include…host a game night and charge a gift card as admission, items off our wish list in lieu of birthday gifts, make blankets, stuffed animal drive, donate vouchers from your business for handyman services, car repair, haircuts, spa services, restaurant meals.
It’s an honor to walk alongside the families we support. The Family Advocates could not do it without the amazing support of our community. We simply can’t express how thankful we are.