Christmas in February: The Miracle of Community
Pat, a volunteer with Caring Coalition, was delivering food to one of our families in late January of this year. Anna, the head of this family of seven, was helping to carry the boxes up the long flight of stairs to her apartment.
Pat and Anna were passing the usual pleasantries, when Anna suddenly teared up, confiding, “I had to quit my job back in November to be home with my special needs son. We were not able to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Three Kings Day. ”
Well, we couldn’t let that news pass without taking action! A post on the Coronado Neighborhood Facebook message board created holiday magic for this family. In less than a day’s time, Coronado neighbors donated more than $400, many boxes of festive holiday food, decorations, brand new and gently used toys, and clothing for all five children. Anna made three trips to collect everything, filling her car each time.
Volunteers purchased gift cards with the donated funds. Mom and Grandma each received gift cards to help with fresh groceries and other necessities. Gift cards for smaller amounts were sent to each of the teens and children. Anna’s family finally had a holiday celebration with tamales, turkey with all the trimmings, and Rosca de Reyes (traditional Three Kings Day bread).
It is hard to tell who felt the most joy: the family that received this bounty, or the neighbors who shared from the depth of their hearts.