This past Christmas we were able to give One Special Christmas to 3 special families. Each family had their own advocate who worked closely with them to fulfill their specific wishes. The following updates are written by the families advocates.
Family # 1:
Have you ever been in crisis? Have you ever experienced a sudden job loss which propelled you into a cycle of perpetual worry, strife, and angst? Have you ever felt like you can’t catch a break, robbing Peter to pay Paul? What if you were trying to support a family with six children ranging from 18 to 2?
This is where our One Special Christmas family found themselves in the last quarter of the year, with bills mounding and the Christmas season right around the corner. Seeking help to find a job, this daddy broke through his manly pride to ask a local agency for help writing a resumé to find a new job.
Thanks to your generosity, we we’re able to help catch up the family’s bills, all of the children have a pair of new jeans, a hoodie, tennis shoes, a few toys and electronics! More importantly, the two youngest brothers even got beds – complete with mattresses so compactly shipped that when the packing was cut away, the impact propelled me across the room, literally! We ALL had a good belly laugh, which brightened up this crowded little home lit solely on the rainy, overcast day by an overhead light in the kitchen.
Thanks to you, these children have a renewed hope, dare I say wonder, in the Love of God displayed through many who were willing to donate, attend an auction, bid, buy, and commit to help others have one especially wonderful Christmas!
On delivery day, I was both broken-hearted for this precious family and filled with joy as the mother’s kind eyes widened as more and more packages were placed under her unlit, sparsely decorated tree. Those same eyes filled with water which spilled down her checks as she thanked us repeatedly as we were leaving. I connected with that gratitude remembering my own family of eight growing up after my dad suffered a debilitating brain injury.
The kindness of strangers reminded me that year of just how powerful LOVE can be! It transcends every other obstacle we could possibly face and reminds us of our loving God whose son gave it all!
Thanks to everyone for being a part of a Christmas miracle for this sweet family!
Also, here is a text I received from mom on Christmas morning:
Merry Christmas! It was beautiful!The children were over the moon and could not have asked for a better Christmas. They kept jumping around and yelling with excitement .😊Thank you and to all that thought of it and made it possible. God Bless you all!
Family # 2:
Dad and Mom are normal, hardworking middle-age parents in their prime. Dad has worked for years in construction and real estate and has a solid job. Mom stays home and is both mom and teacher to their four kids, who are homeschooled.
Their only wish for Christmas is time.
Time to make memories with their children.
CJ is seventeen and is described by her dad as the princess. She loves ballet and all things pink. She’s in her last year of homeschooling, a senior preparing to attend a technical college to study dental hygiene. She has a job, and her first boyfriend. She is dreaming of her senior prom. When asked to make a no-holds barred Christmas list, a prom dress was her biggest wish.
Jay is sixteen. She’s the one who “swims upstream”. She is thoughtful, a peacekeeper, nurturer. She works two jobs and is in dual enrollment classes at the local community college. She loves vintage and quirky and her dream wish list included Doc Martens, a turntable, and a camera to record her family’s memories.
Grace is thirteen. She is the family musician, sings and plays guitar. She’s the artsy kid and is always by mom’s side, taking care of her needs. She dreamed of a room make-over – a desk and chair, storage shelves, pillows, and fairy lights.
Levi is eight, the only boy, and is the apple of everyone’s eye. He is kind and sensitive, but all boy – loves baseball and football, UNC basketball and the Panthers. His dream list included games, games, games…and a new bicycle, not only for him, but one for his best friend David too. He couldn’t leave his buddy out.
At first glance, this doesn’t look like a family in need at Christmas time. They are faithful, have a church family, friends, and what used to be an active, awesome life. Until this past May when a gall-bladder check for mom revealed a rare stage four stomach cancer. And through a series of tiny “God moments” they were brought to One Special Christmas. Maybe not only for what we could share with them, but for what they could show to us…
Just meeting this special family and hearing their testimony was a blessing and a huge honor. Their rock solid faith, their humility, and their warrior spirit inspire everyone who knows them. Being able to shower love and blessings on them through One Special Christmas at a time when they are fighting for life – their mother’s life – has been the real gift
Here is the text we received from Dad on the night before Christmas…before any gifts had even been opened:
“I wanted to take just a moment and express my gratitude not just for the gifts but the time, energy and resources it takes to make something like this happen in the lives of other people. It is a testament to your love for God, and your willingness to serve others has blown me away. Words will never convey adequately how blessed we feel to have crossed paths with you guys. I pray that we can continue a relationship…
This has been the least stressed Christmas I have ever experienced as a parent and I owe every single bit of that to One Special Christmas. Thank you for sacrificing your time to help us in the midst of a vigorous battle with cancer. You have touched our hearts and this Christmas will be one that stands out thru all of our time here on earth… You will never truly know the impact you have on families like ours.”
Christmas may be over but the impact of One Special Christmas will last. Please pray for all of our families, for the blessings and gifts to continue. And thank you for allowing us to do this work. In case you’re wondering, our shopper’s favorite gift to this family? Gift cards for TWO boys to go together and pick out TWO new bicycles. We couldn’t forget about the buddy.
One big detail worth adding:
In addition to helping with Christmas wishes we were also able to promise to pay a couple mortgage payments this year to help alleviate the stress when Dad has to take time off work.
Family # 3:
Today, mom and dad are at the hospital in Durham with their 3 year old son while he undergoes an experimental treatment for leukemia. After 2 relapses there aren’t many treatments left to try. But they are hopeful and things are going well.
Their 2 other sons, 6 and 8, are at home with their grandma in Charlotte. After three years of their little brother fighting leukemia, they have become accustomed to missing the rest of their family.
But this Christmas– It was special.
It was special because their whole family was together and all of their Christmas wishes were fulfilled– a very welcome reprieve from the tough breaks they have been experiencing at such a young age.
The whole family was overwhelmed with excitement when just 2 days before Christmas they went to a Carolina Panthers game together– a dream come true for these little Panther fans!
…and I can only imagine their faces on Christmas morning when they saw their new bikes and video games and everything they had on their wishlist!
Not only were we able to help create these joyful Christmas-time memories, but we are committed to helping them move to a safer, more suitable environment for their family when they return to Charlotte. This move will have a lasting positive impact on their lives.
*You* are making the difference.
This family is so thankful and grateful for all of your kindness.
Thank you for all that you do to make One Special Christmas happen! ❤️