Everything to Know About My Christmas Fundraiser

And Why I Need Your Help!

As anyone who knows me personally can tell you, life has always been filled with ups and downs but even during the worst times, I always kept my head up and smiled my way through things. I’ve been called tough as nails, cold hearted, stone cold, emotionless and many other things by many who have known me through the years because I don’t often show my feelings.

However, something that gets me ‘right in the feels’ so to speak, is the way a child’s face lights up on Christmas morning when they rush to the living room and see what Santa has brought them. I vividly recall that very feeling of excitement as I was growing up and Santa brought me every single thing I ever asked for at Christmas.

As a single parent, I know what it feels like to see Christmas inching its way closer and closer on the calendar and I know all too well what the feeling of complete and utter failure feels like as a parent breaks down into a complete and total mess of crying anxiety in the bedroom late at night after the kids are sleeping as they try to figure out how in the world they can make sure the kids have a good Christmas when they know darned well they don’t have even an extra penny to scrape out of the couch cushion or car seat, much less hundreds of dollars on the things that the kids really want.

 

 

The Meaning

Listen, I know that Christmas is about the joy of giving and I know the true meaning of Christmas for us Christians is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but no matter how well our kids are when it comes to compassion for others or whether they know the true meaning of the season, when Christmas day arrives, no child should ever have to hop out of bed in eager anticipation of a tree towering over a mountain of toys only to be sadly disappointed at the sight of emptiness and despair.

Most parents work hard, and they get the bills paid and they struggle to make sure their kids eat dinner every night, but when it comes to buying Christmas presents, there just is not a way to do it. I know many people who are living well now who once upon a time struggled their way through every meal, every holiday and every day of normal life just to get where they are today. I am one of those people myself and I do what I can now to help those who are just like me. Working hard, but barely keeping their heads above water.

There was a time, not so long ago, that I myself had no idea how I was going to make enough money the next week to pay the almost overdue light bill, much less make enough to buy Christmas gifts for two young children. My children thought Santa was the epitome of awesome and to think that they might have their hearts crushed on Christmas morning was heartbreaking to me.

 

 

 

 

 

Enter Friends

 

No, I’m not talking about Jennifer Aniston and that awesome show that took me through the 90’s. I mean REAL friends who care.

At a time when I myself could see no light at the end of the dark and dreary Christmas tunnel, up popped some amazing friends that I never expected to make an entrance, especially at Christmas time. There were a few, but between them, they made sure that my kids not only got what was on their Christmas list, but just as I myself would have done had I been able to afford to do so, they shopped for things off the list to make sure they had a remarkable Christmas just as they always had.

From toys and games to clothing, stockings, candy and more, it took the kindness of friends to bring the joy of Christmas to my own house that year. I am forever thankful to have those kind friends in my life.

At that time, I made a promise that I would not let their kindness go unwarranted. I vowed to myself that once I clawed my way back to the top of the food chain that I would not let a Christmas go by without trying to help someone who was in my exact shoes. So, the next Christmas, I placed a post on a Facebook page asking if someone knew a family who needed a little help at Christmas. I was going to help one family.

 

 

 

Snowballs!

 

Have you ever sat and watched snow falling through your window? When it starts, you might see a flake or two and get a little excited because you just know that soon, the ground will be covered with that white stuff and the world around you will start looking like a Thomas Kinkade masterpiece.

As each flake falls, you finally have enough to make a snowball. Well, when I placed that very first post, it snowballed into more than 50 responses! Can you imagine the inner struggle that I had when I knew I could only help ONE family? It was killing me inside, so what did I do? I chose two families and I posted on my social media pages to see if I could get a friend to help with one of them.

 

 

 

 

 

It All Works Out In the End

 

As the days went by, I almost dreaded telling the 2nd family that I just could not help them when suddenly, a message from a friend popped up and then another. I had three friends that year who helped me make sure that both families, including the kids and parents, had a great Christmas. As a matter of fact, we even split the cost of a big television because the family had lost theirs due to a job change and lack of money to keep their old one.

The next year, I chose 3 families and the year after, I chose four. Each year, I have held the fundraiser and made sure that every family had an amazing Christmas. This year, I planned to choose five families, but I was so overwhelmed with choosing just five that I ended up choosing ten!

 

 

 

 

 

Ten is a Beautiful Number

TEN FAMILIES! Oh, my goodness! It’s early November and I am feeling a little overwhelmed because I have ten wonderful families who have hard working parents and beautiful children, and they are all relying on me to make sure Christmas comes to town for them.

These families did not approach me. Not one of them reached out and directly asked for help. Not from me nor anyone else.

They have some great friends who care so much for them that the friends told me about them. From the Sunday School teacher who told me about the family of five who tried so hard but knew Christmas was out of the picture to the grocery store worker who told me about his co-workers who have been struggling because their rent is so high, the families have done something that has touched the heart of someone else so much that another person asked me if I could help them. One of the families I know personally because I grew up with the mom, and a few of the families I know from seeing at my children’s schools or even from socializing with them at church or a sports team.

Every family has a parent who works, and often two parents. Every family has children who have big, beautiful smiles and most of all, these families deserve a great Christmas. I went to each home and I got a wish list for the kids as well as the adults, although in most cases, the adults refused to tell me anything they wanted at all. I was able to pick up some things during our conversations however that allowed me to put a wish list down for the parents.

 

 

 

The Needs

 

 

I’m going to just say it: I cannot do this all by myself. I NEED help from my friends and from anyone else who might see this post. I’ve made a list of items that are needed, and I also have a financial fundraiser to be able to buy the toys and gifts and clothing as well as other necessary items including household cleaners, soaps and other items that many of us take for granted, but that many households just cannot afford.

Here is a list of material items needed:

  • Christmas trees and ornaments (I still need 6 more trees and ornaments!)
  • Stockings and Stocking Stuffers (17 kids!!)
  • Household cleaning supplies (ALL kinds of cleaners!)
  • Soap, Shampoo, deodorant etc.
  • Feminine Products
  • Dog and cat food/treats/toys and blankets/sweaters
  • Gift baskets for the parents
  • Books for all ages
  • Gift cards from stores like Walmart, Target, Kmart

Items can be shipped. Please contact me at:

angelacaitowriting@gmail.com if you want to ship a care package, check or other items for this Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

The Fundraiser Pages!

I have a fundraiser on GoFundMe at:

https://www.gofundme.com/christmas-fund-for-local-families

 

Or, you can find a fundraiser on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/711679945709747/10215035489345072/

 

 

 

 

THE FAMILIES AND THEIR WISH LISTS!!!!!

 

Here is the full wish list (Including the videos) for every child and adult we are trying to help!

 

FAMILY ONE THREE KIDS AND TWO PARENTS

Child 1, Girl, Age 5

She loves My Little Pony and baby dolls that look like babies. Dress up princess gowns and play jewelry. She really likes Beauty and the Beast.

Clothing size 6 Girls and shoe size 2 Girls.

She could use a new winter coat as well as gloves, scarves and hats for cold weather.

Favorite color is pink, and she loves to wear dresses or skirts.

Child 2, Girl, Age 10

She would like a ballet bar as well as Barbie dolls, a sketch pad, acrylic paints/brushes/canvas or slime kits and hair bows and barrettes.

Clothing size: 10 or 12 girls

Shoe Size: 4 girl’s shoes

She likes rainbow colors and likes wearing jeans and athletic wear.

 

Child 3, Boy, Age 15

Clothing size Men’s 2XL or 3XL shirts and XL jogging pants or 38/32 jeans.

Coat size 3XL (He needs a coat or hoodies)

Shoe size: Men’s size 13 (He needs tennis shoes)

He would like to have some UNO or playing cards, a nice cologne set or gift cards to Walmart, Target or Game Stop or a pocket knife.

 

Mom, Age 44

Mom could use a few hoodie type sweatshirts and jogging pants or aerobic type pants/leggings. She also needs socks and underwear. She would love to have a teapot for her stove. I did notice her kitchen was in red and brown colors. Overall, she just wants her kids to have a good Christmas.

Clothing size: XL or 16 Women’s

Shoe size: 7 women’s (She could use a good pair of tennis shoes)

 

Dad, Age 45

Dad could use some big flannel shirts and white, crew neck t shirts. He could also use a good set of sockets and a new drill. (He said used would be great if in good shape) He could also use some warm gloves and a new hoodie to wear while working outside.

 

Size: XL Shirts/Jackets and 36/32 jeans

Shoe Size: 13.5 (He could use a good pair of work boots)

 

PETS

They have a 2-year-old Husky and a parakeet. The dog could use Purina Dog Chow dry food as well as some large sweaters and blankets. He likes chew toys, bones and balls and ropes. The parakeet could possibly use a new cage as the one I saw was rather old and kind of rusty looking.

 

FAMILY ONE VIDEO

 

 

 

 

FAMILY TWO TWO KIDS AND ONE PARENT

 

 

Child One, Girl, Age 9

She likes to draw and pain pictures, so a sketch pad and paints/markers/colored pencils would be great. She also wants a Journey Girl Doll from Toys R Us and some doll clothes. She needs a coat. She likes squishy toys and Little Pet Shop. She loves to read, so books would be great!

Clothing size: Girls 10

Shoe Size: 4 children’s shoes. She needs boots and tennis shoes.

Her favorite colors are purple, light blue and pink.

 

Child 2, Girl, Age 6

She loves stuffed animals and would like beanie boos, teddy bears, a pottery wheel, Disney princess dolls, books and games.

Her favorite colors are purple and silver and green and teal.

Mom, Age 35

Mom could use some shirts and dress pants for church. She also said she could use some decent pots and pans and some glassware for the kitchen. She uses Dove soap as she and the girls have sensitive skin. They use hypoallergenic or scent free laundry soap as well. She would like to have an oil burner for scented waxes if possible.

Clothing Size: 2XL or 20 Women’s

Shoe size: 9.5 women’s. She needs a decent pair of tennis shoes.

 

 

FAMILY TWO VIDEO

 

 

FAMILY THREE ONE CHILD AND ONE PARENT

 

One child, Boy, Age 12

He likes music and playing video games. He has a PlayStation 4 and a Nintendo 3DS XL and likes war/military games. He likes to read scary/mystery books. Favorite authors are Dean Koontz and Stephen King. He would love to have an iPod or a Bluetooth stereo or a television set.

Clothing size: Husky XL (He needs winter clothing)

Size 7 men’s shoes

His favorite colors are dark or light blue

 

Dad, Age 42

He could use some good gloves and a pair of men’s flannel pajamas. He would also love to have a new microwave oven as theirs broke last month.

Clothing size: XL Shirts and pants or 36/30 jeans

Shoe size: men’s size 12

 

FAMILY THREE VIDEO

 

 

FAMILY FOUR 2 KIDS AND 2 PARENTS

 

Child One, Girl, Age 3

She likes books with animals. She also loves baby dolls and teddy bears.

Clothing: Size 4T

Shoes; 4T (She needs tennis shoes)

Fav colors are pink and purple.

 

Child 2, Girl, Age 9

She would like to have a big bottle of glue as well as saline solution (Contact solution) to make slime, or a slime making kit as well as beanie boos, a karaoke machine, play makeup or trolls dolls/playsets.

Clothing: Size 10 Girls

Size 4 girl’s shoes

Favorite colors are orange and black (Cyclones colors) and blue

 

Dad, Age 36

Dad could use some new tools as well as a regular or electric shaving kit. He also needs a new charger for his Android phone for both the house and the car. New gloves as he is outdoors a lot and a toboggan (preferably black or with a Redskins logo) to help keep him warm.

Clothing: 2XL shirts and 2XL pants. He prefers wearing jogging pants or elastic waist pants and long sleeve t shirts or sweatshirts.

Shoe size: 10 men’s

 

Mom, Age 32

Mom could use some sleepwear including flannel or cotton pants. She would love to have an electric hand mixer as she bakes a lot. She could use some new baking pans as well as would like to have some vanilla or fruit scented candles.

Clothing: Large Shirts and 14 in pants. She likes Yoga and aerobic pants/ t shirts.

Shoe size 8 women’s

 

PETS

They have a 5-year-old cocker spaniel named Sadie who eats Purina Dog Food dry food and loves playing with stuffed animals, dog bones and chew toys. She could use some medium dog sweaters to use when she goes outside.

 

FAMILY FOUR VIDEO

 

 

FAMILY FIVE GRANDMOTHER AND THREE KIDS

 

 

Child 1, Girl, Age 12

She likes Taylor Swift and would like a CD. She would love to have a tv of her own or a stereo or radio. Lip gloss, hair bows and barrettes as well as stuffed animals.

Clothing size 12 girls

Size 7 women’s shoes (She needs tennis shoes)

Favorite colors are pink and black and gold.

 

Child 2, Girl, Age 10

She would like to have some stuffed animals, warm clothing, a camera, Calico Critters and troll’s toys.

Clothing size 10 girls (She needs winter clothing and a coat)

Shoe size 4 girls

Her favorite colors are blue and yellow

 

Child 3, Boy, Age 11

He likes basketball and football and would love to have a good football. He would also like some Pokémon cards.

Clothing size 12 Husky boys

Size 7 Boys shoes

His favorite colors are red and blue

 

Grandmother, Age 58

She would love to have some soft pajama bottoms and tops as well as a few large print books (She likes romance novels). Crossword puzzle books and word find books as well as hard candy and some soft slippers to wear around the house.

Clothing size 2XL Women’s

Shoe size 8 Women’s

 

FAMILY FIVE VIDEO

 

 

 

FAMILY SIX MOM, DAD AND THREE KIDS

Child 1, Girl, Age 13

She would love to have new athletic clothing to work out in. She also wants a Keurig Coffee Maker, so she can make hot chocolate. A tablet or laptop computer are on her wish list as well.

Clothing size 9 Juniors

Size 8 women’s shoes

Her favorite colors are orange and black (Cyclones colors!) and purple and yellow (LSU colors!)

 

Child 2, Girl, Age 6

She would love to have Disney Princess dolls, troll’s toys, Calico Critters and Barbie dolls.

Clothing size 6 girls

Shoe size 3 girls

Her favorite color is pink.

 

Child 3, Boy, Age 16

He would love to have a set of weights and a weight bench (new or used would be perfect if it is in good shape!) A new bike (26 inch) and some whey protein mix (chocolate) ear buds or an iPod.

Clothing size 3XL men’s shirts and 2XL men’s pants (He needs winter clothing!)

Shoe size 14 men’s

His favorite colors are blue and black.

 

Mom, Age 45

She would love to have new potholders and a new comforter set for her bed (Queen bed) as well as pillows for the kids. She also mentioned wanting a waffle iron and a crock pot and socks and slippers.

Clothing size 2XL women’s or size 20

Shoe size 8 women’s

 

Dad, age 46

He could really use a winter coat or jacket as well as gloves and socks. He wears black or white ankle or no-show socks)

Clothing size XL men’s

Shoe size 10 men’s

 

 

FAMILY SIX VIDEO

 

 

FAMILY SEVEN MOM AND TWO ADORABLE BOYS

Child 1, boy, age 11

He would love to have a Nintendo 3DS and a game for it. He loves Star Wars and The Walking Dead and would LOVE to have some toys from either of those.

Clothing size Medium or size 10 boys (He needs a winter coat and warm clothing)

Shoe size 4 Boys

His fav colors are blue and red

 

Child 2, Boy, age 4

He would like to have some books with pictures of animals or cars. Toy cars, toy army men, games that are age appropriate like Chutes and Ladders or Candyland.

Clothing size 5T boys (He needs warm clothing and a winter coat)

Size 3 boy’s shoes

He likes blue

 

Mom, Age 31

She would love to have a warm blanket for her bed. Her bedroom is painted and decorated in purple and lavender colors. A bath robe and house slippers would be nice, and she could use a new vacuum for work.

Clothing size Medium or 12 women’s

Shoe size 8 women’s

 

FAMILY SEVEN VIDEO

 

 

 

FAMILY EIGHT MOM AND THREE KIDS

Child 1, Boy, Age 11

He would love to have Star Wars toys as well as a new football and basketball.

Clothing size 12 Boys

Shoe size 5 boys

He likes blue, BUT he also loves the Tennessee Vols and would love to have any kind of Tennessee t shirt or sweatshirt as he does not have any now.

 

Child 2, Girl, Age 17

This beautiful girl made my heart melt as she has the biggest smile ever. She is unable to go to work and has not quite developed as quickly as her peers, but she is smart, and she is adorable. She would love to have makeup and facial cleaning and moisturizing products as well as lip gloss, perfume, a new purse and ear rings. She wears stud type earrings.

Clothing size 14 women (She needs warm clothing)

Size 9 women’s shoes

Her favorite color is green.

 

Child 3, Boy, Age 5

He would love to have Spiderman and Star Wars toys as well as airplanes or trains. He loves airplanes and trains! He would also like some books with planes or trains in them.

Clothing size 6/8 boys (he needs winter clothing)

Shoe size Boys size 4

 

Mom, Age 47

This mom has her hands full! Mom has one biological child and adopted her niece and nephew when the nephew was a baby. She works for a credit company in JC and while she makes enough to pay the bills, she simply cannot afford the extras.

Mom could use some comfort items for herself including perfumed bath products and other nice little things to let her know she is cared for. She did not ask for anything and refused to put anything on her wish list at all, but she truly deserves so much.

She wears a size 16 in women’s clothing and a size 9 women’s shoe.

 

FAMILY EIGHT VIDEO

 

 

 

FAMILY NINE MOM AND TWO KIDS

This final family is one that I am adding at the last minute. I know the family personally as do many of those who know me from school. I am waiting on the children’s and the moms clothing sizes and wish list, but I will say the mom works very hard and gets her bills paid, but she is not at all able to do anything for Christmas this year.

Child 1, Boy, Age 13

I’m waiting on the details for clothing sizes and wish list.

 

Child 2, Girl, Age 19

I’m waiting on the details for clothing sizes and wish list.

 

Mom, Age 46

I’m waiting on the details for clothing sizes and wish list.

 

 

 

 

If you can assist with the Christmas Fundraiser this year, please let me know quickly! I can be contacted directly at: angelacaitowriting@gmail.com or admin@writingmind.com.

 

I am beyond thankful to each and every person who assists with this each year!

Angela Caito

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