The Annual Christmas Fundraiser Needs Your Help!

THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FUNDRAISER IS OFFICIALLY KICKING OFF FOR YEAR NUMBER FIVE

As my dear friends know, I started holding a Christmas Fundraiser in 2014 to assist hardworking families at Christmas time. This is year number FIVE and although there have been a few times over the last several years that were a little stressful (especially as Christmas neared and I still had a few families to fulfill wishes for), everything has always worked out well! I am so excited that we’re in our fifth year!! 

 

Last year, I chose 10 families and then ended up adding another to the list in early December. This year, I was worried about adding too many families to the list, so I had to painstakingly decide to help only five this year. With just a few weeks left before Christmas last year, I found myself working extreme overtime to write for clients to make sure the last few families received everything they needed to have a great Christmas. It was beyond stressful for me, but thankfully, everything worked out and all were taken care of by myself and by a few who decided at the last moment to help! I will say that it was very difficult for me to have to narrow the list down to only five families this year. 

 

Each family has at least one parent that works and each family has at least one child. Some two parent families have one parent who stays home with the kids either due to the age of the children or due to the cost of daycare. None of the families are on public assistance and none of the families qualified for the Angel Tree or with other agencies for help during the holidays.

 

I have people who send me information on the families usually starting around August each year. I have also had several parents talk to me in person to ask if we could help their family personally because they know what we do. I say we because it takes several people to make sure each family is taken care of. I usually try to have this posted by early October but this year I’ve been super busy, and it took me until yesterday to finally be able to finish meeting with the last family on the list to go over their needs, finances and other information.

 

I never, under any circumstance release the families name to anyone. This is something that I choose to do because I do not want the parents or their children (especially those in school and older) to feel embarrassed because they need help. We ALL go through things in life and we ALL need some sort of help from time to time whether it is something small, or something major and most people would prefer that others don’t know about their struggles.

 

What I do provide is a detailed description of the family that includes how many parents are in the home, and whether one or both are working. I also provide all info on the kids to include their age, clothing sizes, favorite colors and their toy/gift wish list. I list the parents clothing sizes as well because I always try to make sure the parents each get a pair of pajamas and a robe OR a coat/jacket if they need that instead of a robe. All children need to receive one coat, 2 outfits (including pants and shirt or a dress) 1-2 pairs of shoes to include one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of dress shoes IF they receive a dress or clothing that would require dress shoes. All children also receive at least 5 toys or gift wish items. As you know, older kids and teens often don’t list toys and our goal is to make sure ALL kids wake up on Christmas to the same joy and wonder and happiness that our own kids wake up to. If you decide to adopt an entire family, that is awesome! I am not asking anyone to take on a whole family however, so if you can assist with just one child or even a parent, that is awesome as well!

 

The family also receives a turkey, a ham, enough stuffing and canned vegetables and rolls and a dessert to feed their family. If you prefer to grab a turkey or ham or other food rather than a gift, let me know as I need to get started on that ASAP to ensure I have enough for everyone! I try to provide the food twice. Once for Thanksgiving and for Christmas!!  That way, both holiday meals are covered, and the families don’t have to worry!

 

I took my mom with me a couple years ago when I was dropping food off at one of the homes and when my mom saw the house (it was a nice home in a nice neighborhood) she asked me, “Why do you do this? This woman’s house is really nice.” …It’s easy to explain. I have been in every single one of these parents’ shoes. There was a point in my own life just six years ago where I was financially struggling BADLY when I separated from a marriage and had it not been for a few of my close friends, Christmas would have been cancelled in my house. From the outside, no one would have ever known that I needed help at that time. Thankfully, I was able to trust a few friends and told them what I was going through. I had a friend in NC who mailed packages for the kids. I had friends locally who delivered packages in person and on Christmas morning, my kids woke up to the same awe and wonder that they had always had on Christmas because as far as they knew, everything was normal.

 

I made a promise to myself at that time and said that as soon as I was back on my feet, I would “pay it forward” to someone who was in the same situation I had found myself in that Christmas. Thankfully, by the next Christmas, my business was going well, and I started the Christmas Fundraiser and together with a few great people, we assisted several families. We even purchased a large flat screen tv for one of the families in 2014 because the dad had recently been laid off from one of the cell phone places after working for them for many years and the family had sold basically everything of value in their home, so they could continue paying the bills. That was also the year that one of the amazing people who helped with the gifts offered a job to that dad and he has been working for her for four years now. It’s a totally different career path but he seems to love the job. Last year, that same family who needed help in 2014 was one of our families who adopted an entire family on the list, so they too could pay it forward! So, as you can see, people work hard and when someone gives them a hand UP, they often repay that hand up as soon as they are back on their feet again. 

 

With that being said, I desperately need help from you guys to make sure the families on the list receive the help needed and that these parents and their children have an amazing Christmas. Sometimes, it just takes a little help up to make a total difference in someone else’s life.

 

For all the families, I need donations for the food for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. (Remember, this is five families!) You can drop the food off or I can pick up locally. I have a freezer to keep turkeys and hams until they are delivered. You can also donate cash for this to: PayPal.me/AngelaCaito or you can grab a grocery gift card. If you are donating a gift card, PLEASE make sure you let me know whether you want it given to a family on the list or if you want it used to buy the dinner grocery items.

 

Clothing Items ALL the families need (Sizes are listed below with each family!) 

  • Gloves (You can get gloves 2 pair for $1.50 at Wal-Mart for women/girls and $1.00 pair for men and children)
  • Hats/toboggans- Again, these are around a buck a hat
  • Socks- Everyone needs socks!
  • Underwear- Everyone needs underwear (Clothing sizes are listed per person on the list)
  • Coats (Each child receives one winter coat)
  • Jeans/Pants/dress (Each child receives at least 2 pair pants or a dress)
  • Shirt (Each child receives at least 2 shirts)
  • Shoes: Each child receives one pair tennis shoes and one pair dress shoes (IF dress clothing is purchased for the child)
  • Pajamas- All family members receive a pair of pajamas
  • Robe or Coat- All parents receive a robe or a coat (Those without a coat already will receive a coat instead of a robe)

****We try to stock up on hats and gloves so we always have plenty for each family so if you can donate a bunch of those, that would be great!

Food for Each Family

  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Milk (1 gallon per family)
  • Butter (stick or tub)
  • Canned Veggies (4 cans each of Green beans, corn, carrots, lima beans and 1 can of cranberry sauce)
  • Stuffing (Enough for the entire family) Can be Stove Top or can be stuffing mix in bag.
  • Eggs (1 dozen)
  • Gravy
  • Rolls
  • Dessert (We usually grab a pecan or apple pie depending on what the family prefers)
  • 10-pound bag of potatoes
  • Flour (self-rising)
  • Cooking Oil
  • Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts (We deliver one dozen donuts to each family for Christmas morning and I drop these off on Christmas eve!) (Coupons always help with this!)
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Marshmallows (For the cocoa)
  • Cookie Mix (So the kids can make chocolate chip or sugar cookies for Santa)

 

*** We also need five turkey roasting pans. Disposable pans work great! 

 

Toys/Gift Wishes

All children will receive at least 5 toys (More if possible)

***Older children and teens don’t usually ask for toys, so we do try very hard to ensure the older kids get at least 1-2 of their wish list items as well as a few random gifts that are age appropriate. These may include books, games, music CD’s or movie passes, cosmetics, more clothing, jewelry and other items.

 

Stocking and Stocking Stuffers!

We ALWAYS provide a stocking for every child as well as candy and small toys to fill each stocking. We need a total of 10 red stockings this year and enough candy, stickers, small toys and games etc. to fill each of them. 

Ideas for Stocking Stuffers:

  • Candy canes
  • Chocolate Santa
  • Small candy
  • LifeSavers
  • Tootsie Rolls (We usually get the Tootsie Roll Bank Collectibles)
  • Plastic canes filled with candy
  • Small toys
  • Pencils (Christmas pencils)
  • Gift cards for older kids
  • Hershey Kisses
  • M&Ms
  • Candy Bars
  • Bubble Gum

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER!!

 

****PLEASE LET ME KNOW AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE IF YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HELP WITH AN ENTIRE FAMILY OR WITH ONE OF THE CHILDREN OR PARENTS ON THE LIST THIS YEAR!! ALL GIFT/CLOTHING ITEMS MUST BE DROPPED OFF/PICKED UP BY THE 1ST WEEK OF DECEMBER (By December 7th please!) SO THAT I CAN DELIVER THEM PRIOR TO SCHOOL LETTING OUT FOR CHRISTMAS BREAK.  

 

***ALL FOOD ITEMS NEED TO BE DROPPED OFF/PICKED UP NO LESS THAN ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THANKSGIVING SO THEY CAN BE DROPPED OFF IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! (Latest date to deliver this year is November 15th)

 

 

Meet the families!

These are our families this year. If you will help with an entire family, please let me know by contacting me via email at: angelacaitowriting@gmail.com or by sending me a private message on Facebook. Be sure to include the family number listed at the top of each family’s information so I will know which family you will adopt. If you can only help with one or two of the kids, let me know the family number and which child you can assist with gifts/clothing. If you want to donate a gift card or grocery card to a family, again let me know the family number so your gift card gets to the right family.

 

FAMILY #1

(ADOPTED!!) We still need the groceries for this family.

Image result for two parents and three kids silhouettes

Family Number 1 is a mom and dad living in Elizabethton, TN. The Dad works at a local manufacturing plant and the mom is a stay at home mom. They have three children who all attend school in the Elizabethton City Schools System.

 

Child 1- Female- Age 15

  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirts: Small Teen
  • Pants: Womens Size 1
  • Shoes: Women’s Size 7
  • Prefers skinny jeans and “girly” shirts. She also likes long sweaters (The ones with a front opening like a jacket)
  • Needs a winter coat. She wants a “bubble” coat.

 

Gift wish list:

  • Makeup (A nice makeup kit would be great for her)
  • Nail polish
  • Perfume
  • Books about vampires or teenage appropriate books
  • Movie tickets
  • Alarm clock (electric)
  • Boots (she asked for a pair of tall black boots like UGGS or something like that)
  • Nice digital camera

 

 

Child 2- Female- Age 10

  • Favorite Color: Purple
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirts: 10 girls
  • Pants: 10 girls
  • Shoes: 4 girls
  • Loves Disney clothing and anything with puppies or kittens on it.
  • Needs a winter coat.

 

Gift wish list:

  • Disney Princess Barbies or other Disney dolls
  • Shopkins
  • Slime kit
  • Bicycle

 

 

 

Child 3- Male- Age 12

  • Favorite Color: Red
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirts: 12 Husky boys
  • Jeans: 12 Husky Boys
  • Shoes: 6 Boys
  • He prefers jogging pants with the elastic at the bottom (joggers) and t-shirts with video game or The Walking Dead pictures on them.
  • Needs a winter coat.

 

Gift Wish List:

  • Fantasy games for a Nintendo 3DS
  • Remote control car
  • Drone
  • Pokémon cards
  • Bicycle

 

Parents Sizes for Pajamas and Robe or Coat:

Mom- Size Large Women’s Pajamas and Robe

Dad- Size 3XL Pajamas and Coat

 

Family # 2  

(ADOPTED!!) We still need the groceries for this family.

Image result for mom and son silhouettes

Family Number 2 is a single mom and a son.  The mom works at a fast food restaurant and at a daycare in Johnson City. Her son is able to attend daycare at the same daycare for a reduced rate since she works there. They rent a house in the Milligan area.  

 

Child 1- Male- Age 3

  • Favorite Color: Any color!
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirt- 3T
  • Pants- 3T
  • Shoes- 3 Toddler
  • Needs a winter coat.

Toy Wish List:

  • Age appropriate books
  • Cars
  • Horse and animal toys (He loves horses!)
  • Army Men
  • Toddler bike/Big Wheel

Parent Sizes for Pajamas and Robe or Coat:

Mom- Size medium women’s for pajamas and robe.

 

 

FAMILY #3

Image result for Mom and two teens silhouettes

Family Number 3 is a single mom with 2 kids. She works for a furniture store in Johnson City and while she makes decent wages, she struggles to pay the bills. After checking her monthly budget, there is no way she can buy gifts for Christmas.

 

Child 1- Female- Age 13

  • Favorite Color: She likes all colors!
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirt- Juniors size 00 or women’s size 1
  • Pants- Juniors size 1 or Women’s size 0
  • Shoes- Women’s size 6
  • Needs a winter coat.

 

Toy/Gift Wish List:

  • Movie passes
  • Gift cards
  • New comforter set for her bedroom (Queen bed) She would like something that does not look like it belongs to a little kid.
  • Makeup (Blush-lip gloss-mascara and light/neutral eye shadows)

 

Child 2- Female- Age 16

  • Favorite Color: Teal blue or Grass Green
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirt- Women’s size 2 or Women’s medium shirts
  • Pants- Women’s size 1
  • Shoes- Women’s size 7
  • Needs a winter coat.

***She loves American Eagle jeans and tops

 

Toy/Gift Wish List:

  • Movie passes
  • Gift cards
  • Ear Buds
  • Ear rings (silver only hoops and studs)
  • Silver rings (Size 7-8)
  • Makeup kit
  • Hair curling iron and straightening iron

 

Parent Sizes for Pajamas and Robe or Coat:

Mom- Size small women’s for pajamas and coat!

 

 

FAMILY #4

(ADOPTED!!) We still need the groceries for this family.

Image result for family of four silhouettes

Family number 4 is a mom and dad and two children. The dad works at a local restaurant and the mom works part time at the same restaurant. They are renting a house in the City of Elizabethton and both children attend local elementary schools.

 

Child 1- Female- Age 8

  • Favorite Color: Pink (She is a girly girl for sure!)
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirt- Girls size 8-10
  • Pants- Girls Size 8-10 (Her mom said 10 would be best as she is getting tall!)
  • Shoes- Girls size 4
  • Needs a winter coat.

 

Toy/Gift Wish List:

  • Slime Kits
  • Crayola Markers
  • Coloring Books *The kind made for adults
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Canvas
  • Stuffed Animals

 

Child 2- Female- Age 12

  • Favorite Color: Navy Blue for clothing
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirt- Girls size 14 or Juniors size Small
  • Pants- Girls Size 14 or Juniors size 1 (likes skinny jeans)
  • Shoes- Girls size 5 or Women’s size 6
  • Needs a winter coat.

 

Toy/Gift Wish List:

  • New comforter set for her bed (Queen Size Bed)
  • Hammock
  • Cosmetic kits
  • Nail polish sets
  • Bath bombs
  • Bath soaps (Liquid soaps)
  • Movie tickets
  • Skating passes for the skate rink
  • Gift card so she can buy things she likes

 

 

Parent Sizes for Pajamas and Robe or Coat:

Mom- Size XL women’s for pajamas (No coat or robe as she has both!)

Dad- Size 3XL pajamas and robe. (or they said 2XL if made big!)

 

 

 

FAMILY #5

Image result for single mom and two kids silhouettes

Family number 5 is a single mom and two children. Her husband passed away in a car accident about three months ago. She works at a local hospital as an LPN and is working to become an RN. She owns her home in Carter County. 

Child 1- Female- Age 14

  • Favorite Color: Orange (She is a TN fan!)
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirt- Juniors size small
  • Pants- Juniors size 1 jeans
  • Shoes- Women’s size 6.5 shoes
  • Needs a winter coat.

 

Toy/Gift Wish List:

  • Gift card for iTunes
  • Movie tickets
  • Dollywood tickets for her family (She has always wanted to go but has never been able to go!)
  • New clothes
  • Nike tennis shoes
  • Chik fil a gift card

 

Child 2- Female- Age 16

  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Clothing Sizes:
  • Shirt- Juniors size medium
  • Pants- Juniors size 2 jeans
  • Shoes- Women’s size 7 shoes
  • Needs a winter coat.

 

Toy/Gift Wish List:

  • Gift card for iTunes
  • Movie tickets
  • Dollywood tickets for her family (She has always wanted to go but has never been able to go!)
  • Cosmetic kits (bronzers, blush, eye shadow, lip glosses, mascara etc.)
  • Sally Beauty Supply gift card as she loves to shop for hair stuff and nail polish there.
  • Hot Topic gift card so she can choose a few t-shirts on her own

 

Parent Sizes for Pajamas and Robe or Coat:

Mom- Size 2XL pajamas and robe.

 

Well guys, that’s the list as of right now! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help with this if you are able! Whether you can take an entire family or just want to help one child or a parent, we need your help BADLY to make sure every person on the list is taken care of this Christmas season!!

 

***I may have one more family to add to the list as I spoke to someone last night who desperately needs help. If I can get her children’s sizes and wish lists in time, I will most likely add them to the list later today.

CHRISTMAS TREES!

Image may contain: christmas tree and indoor

I almost forgot!! Two of the five families could use a Christmas tree this year. We always make sure everyone has a tree and ornaments. This year, only two need a tree and they already have ornaments. A pre-lit 6-7 foot tree would be great for both! 

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP THIS YEAR

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Again, to help with the Christmas fundraiser this year, PLEASE email me at: angelacaitowriting@gmail.com or send me a private message via Facebook. You can find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/angelacaitowriting/

OUT OF TOWN/STATE YOU CAN HELP TOO!!! 

You can also donate directly with your credit or debit card at: PayPal.me/AngelaCaito 

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