Thank you so much for reaching out. I am most grateful that this program exists.
We have struggled a lot in the last few years. I recently lost our main source of income when my oil and gas job disappeared with the industry downturn. But thank G-d my cancer is gone, I finished all my treatments last March and had my port removed just a few weeks ago. My visually-impaired husband has been steady as a rock through it all.
It is my sincerest hope, once our situation improves, that we will be able to give back to the organizations that have helped through these tough times. We were grateful recipients for our 4 children this year and it made their Hanukkah so memorable to be able to have something to open each night, which would never have happened otherwise. There were even some handmade cards, just like we make for our friends’ birthdays, to go along with the already wrapped and sorted gifts. Our kids are unfortunately aware that money is tight, so being able to shower them with meaningful gifts was such a blessing for them.
One of the favorite gifts was rock crystals and my son was so excited to add to his rock collection! Another was a cherry-picker truck. My son was in heaven over that one – perfect size for Lego men to ride in ;). My daughter wasn’t sure what to do with the huge crayons, until she realized they actually were flavored lip balms – loves them! Believe it or not, the teddy bear went to my oldest son (12) who sleeps with it nightly. He has quite a collection, but only the softest and most cherished ones get to snuggle all night. We were even able to use some gifts for their contribution to our shul’s kids grab bag (put one in, take one out)
The gift cards also went to great use. Our family tradition is to get a new “something comfy” for the first night’s gift (pajamas, robe, etc) With the gift cards I was able to get PJs for the little boys, a soft robe for the girl-which she sleeps in every night, and slippers for all – to continue our tradition. The oldest one was also able to get a jacket and long pants for the winter since his other ones were 2 inches too short. And, since it was Walmart gift cards, I was also able to get the gift of the singing Maui doll from Moana which was my child’s biggest request for weeks. [Only available at Wal-Mart, and I got it at a discount because it was missing the “hook” which would have quickly gotten broken or lost in our house anyway]
Last year, I literally cried upon receipt of the mountain of gifts for our children. I am proud to say that the kids asked to light the menorahs each night because they knew that they each had a gift of some kind to open. This year the gift cards were such a bonus to be able to get them exactly what they needed and wanted most.
We can not thank you enough for the generosity of the gifts, time, energy and thoughtfulness that putting this operation together must take. Thank you so much for the miracle of making this Hannukah so joyous for our children.