Hello + welcome to this tiny space on the internet! I created this blog (+ changed the name twice since) 14 years ago as a creative outlet from my career in the emergency room as a PA. After spending the past 7 (or so) years on social media outlets, I have decided to delete all of the ones associated with this blog and get back to the heart of blogging.
You may remember our community giving project from 2020 + 2021…..
There are SO many in need right now and I want to be able to come together with all of you to help. I am working to fulfill 10 family wish lists this year and even a small amount goes a LONG way so if you can donate $5 or $500, you are helping a tremendous amount, so thank you!
This community continues to amaze me each and every day. LET’S LIFT THESE FAMILIES UP this year.
Once the item is purchased, it disappears off the list so you won’t see what’s already been purchased!
1.) The Carroll Family
|Charisse is a mom of two beautiful kids (ages 5 and 7), devoted wife, and an emergency department nurse. She recently was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38 and less than a month ago had a double mastectomy and started chemo last week – right around the same time her husband was laid off. To complicate matters further, their health insurance was thru her husband’s employer. Charisse needs to focus on kicking cancer’s butt so right now and is unable to work so any help (however small) that anyone can give is deeply appreciated.|
2.) The Perseponko Family
I have a family in need, It’s my step daughter Andria. She is a single mom of 3 daughters. She does not receive any child support from her former husband. She had been trying really hard to build credit to buy a house and life keeps happening. She just doesn’t seem to catch a break. She lives in Richmond Indiana. It would be AMAZING if you would consider her as a family to sponsor.
3.) The Ballesteros family
I would like to nominate the Ballesteros family. Ayla (7 years old) had a bone marrow transplant as part of her treatment for high risk AML leukemia in March. Ayla can’t return to school yet because she is still recovering from the transplant and is immunocompromised. Going to school is too risky for her immune system. This is the same for her 3 year old brother Logan and 2 year old sister Evie. They can’t go to daycare or preschool for risk of bringing sickness home. With all that said, mom hasn’t been able to return to work. Dad is the only one working. The family is adjusting to one income for their basics as a family of 5 on top of having to pay off ongoing medical bills since Ayla’s diagnosis. Last Christmas the family didn’t get to celebrate all together due to Ayla being in the hospital all of December. This year they are so grateful to be together and would love to make it extra special after all they have been going through. (Also to note* Logan and Evie both have December birthdays and they’d like to be able to celebrate them as well!)
4.) The Gordon Family
Caitlin and her four children lost their husband and father to colon cancer earlier this year after a two-and-a-half year battle. This is their first Christmas without David, and every bit of help is greatly appreciated.
5.) The Tabor Family
I have a family in mind for your community giving. Mike and Connie Have dedicated their lives to serving in one of the poorest counties in the United States. Mike is the pastor at The Happy Church in Jackson, Kentucky and Clayhole, Kentucky. The ministry is a kids- first ministry. They bus kids to the church for a meal, then a Bible story. They give the kids school schools and supplies, Thanksgiving meals, winter coats, Christmas gifts, and lots lots more. Meeting the physical needs of these kids comes first.
Their region suffered a devastating flood in July and many, many people lost all they had. Mobile homes literally floated down the river. Mike and Connie’s home flooded and is being rebuilt completely by volunteer work and donations. They are the type of people who take nothing for themselves. When drywall was donated, they gave it to a widow instead of keeping it for themselves. When work teams visit to help with restoration, they are sent into the community first, and work on the Tabor’s home as second priority.
You’ve never met more giving couple. Their home should be ready to move in early next year (can you imagine being displaced for 8 months because of a flood?!), and they need sheets and blankets, decorations, kitchen wear, and even clothing and shoes. They’re living with the bear minimum right now. I know your community could make a difference for these people who make a difference in their own community every day.
6.) The Tanaka Family
Tenzin was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June, just after his 8th birthday. Tenzin lives with his mom, Colleen, and older brother Paxton in Port Jefferson Station, NY. Unfortunately, Tenzin has encountered several setbacks including pneumonia and infections that have landed him in the hospital for multiple lengthy inpatient stays. He is also dealing with extreme nausea, limited appetite, weight loss, neuropathy, and memory issues and will have a G-tube placed this month to ensure that he receives adequate nutrition.
Although Tenzin’s days are jam-packed with homeschooling, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, his fun-loving personality ensures that he finds time to do karate, play with Legos, play Minecraft, work on puzzles, and watch the Flash.
Tenzin’s mom, Colleen, is a single mom who has been unable to work since his diagnosis because of Tenzin’s medical needs. Mom is grateful for assistance from local grants that have helped with rent payments, however, their biggest hardship right now is making sure rent, car, car insurance and phone bills are paid. With the hard year that they have had so far, it would be great to give this family some love this holiday season in order to make it extra special.
7.) The Beltrán Family
Some of the information (including imagery) are being kept private for this family <3
We are the Beltrán Family, and we are a family of three. I am a single mother
of two beautiful children ages 11 & 12. All year round I try to teach my children the
importance of giving back and helping others. My children have grown up to become
humble and grateful for everything they have. It makes me proud and warms my
heart to know that they will be humble and model citizens.
Unfortunately, we have been through many difficult times in the last couple
of years that have led up to the struggle of this year. From health issues, to losing my
husband and their father to cancer, and now changing to a new place.
This year I am struggling to provide a good Christmas for my children and
that makes me sad. I have worked very hard all year to be able to give them a good
future but sometimes it is simply not enough. Yet, I always try to stay positive, and I
see it as a stumble in the way to get back on our feet.
I thank God every day for everything we have and for all we have gone
through. It has only made us stronger, united and we have learned to cherish every
moment together. This Christmas I want to wish everyone the best Christmas.
Remember that Christmas is about cherishing and creating beautiful moments with
friends and/or family.
8.) The Hemmelgarn Family
Eric and Sara have three daughters 3 and under. They recently had to drop down to one income after the birth of their third baby due to childcare costs. After two separate medical emergencies for their two youngest daughters, they have many medical bills adding to their already very tight budget. It has been a challenge just to afford basic groceries and bills, and the only gifts they can afford this year are hand me down toys from their cousins. While they have a warm home and a beautiful family full of love, a little bit of help this Christmas would be a true blessing!
9.) Private Family – someone in my community reached out about this mother who was involved in a domestic violence situation and everything needs to be kept private.
This is a mom with 3 girls who left a very bad situation. She left with very little and started over. She is working very hard to get back on her feet and just last week was offered a work from home job. She is very involved in her kids life’s and supports them in each of their own special ways all while going through the terrible situation she was put in. Truly an amazing mom and kids.
10.) The Ellingson Family
I have a family I’d like to nominate for your community giving!! We were a family in 2020 (featured in your community giving)- The Rhatigans (family 11 on the 2020 post), my husband has brain cancer (Astrocytoma) and being one of the lucky families selected was such a huge blessing for us during the worst year of our life. A large portion of Caleb’s tumor is still there, but not growing which we are super thankful for! Thank you again for selecting us in 2020!
Recently, I met another mom here in Huntsville, AL whose husband has the same cancer as Caleb but is significantly worse and continues to progress. We met through our boys school – they are in the same 1st grade class. The Ellingson Family – Brian, Casey, and their son Oliver (7 yrs) need this nomination now more than ever. It’s been just over a year since Brian was diagnosed with Glioblastoma. In November 2021, Brian went to the hospital with a persistent headache and loss of coordination on his left side and was eventually diagnosed with GBM. Since then he has had multiple brain surgeries and completed one round of radiation and chemo, pursued other advanced treatments, but also dealt with a compromised immune system, and multiple infections which caused him to lose function of his entire left side. Through a ton of therapy and aggressive treatment, Brian has regained most function of his left side but each day is still a struggle. His wife, Casey, is still working hard to support her family, raising a loving and bright little boy, and helping Brian get through his treatments. Unfortunately, Brian had to leave his job as a software engineer to devote all the energy he has to fighting GBM. They moved to Alabama in 2019, away from family and the physical support that provides, but do have a small community of friends helping the best they can! Just before Thanksgiving, Brian had another MRI which showed his tumor had grown more so everyone’s spirits are down. This sweet family needs a boost to get through this holiday season and would hugely benefit from being selected as a family to make an Amazon wish list. This would help lift the financial burden of daily life off the shoulders of Casey but also make Christmas time magical for their son, Oliver.
11.) The Taback Family
We are a family of 3 trying to get back on our feet. We have an 9 year old daughter. In May 2020, we were struck with my fiancé losing his job due to Covid-19. Weve struggled month to month, week to week on my income alone. Once he was laid off, he worked hard finding side jobs and started to build a woodworking business in our shop. Thanksgiving, we unfortunately experienced a devastating fire in our shop where we lost all tools and materials needed to help finish putting his moms house back together from it getting flooded and his materials and tools for his up and coming business. With the holidays right around the corner we’re struggling, we’re trying our hardest to save up but unexpected expenses continue to pop up. We want to be able to provide a memorable holiday for our daughter. My fiancé continues to search for a job, but has been unsuccessful. Just last month my fiancés truck was stolen. If you feel called to help our family, it would be so appreciated. We do have an Amazon wishlist. I’m never one to ask for help, I always try to figure out ways to do it on my own. But I’m in over my head trying to keep our family afloat just on my income alone. Please any help would be appreciated.
12.) The Leasure Family
Alaina is a mom of 2 and an RN. She just started a new job when she thought she injured her shoulder a few weeks ago. After getting an MRI, it was actually her cervical spine and she needed surgery right away- a microdiskectomy and fusion.
She is recovering and still off of work due to the surgery. Since starting her new job recently, she had no insurance coverage and short term disability. With it being Christmas time, Alaina could really use the help.
She is such a giving person herself and is deserving of help this holiday season.
13.) The Burks Family
Carrie is a devoted single mother to her two wonderful boys (ages 5 and 3). She is a pediatric nurse, currently working in research, and works hard to provide for her boys. Recently, their furnace broke, and she’s had to pay for multiple repairs. They are also in need of a new roof on their house, and to complicate finances, her van broke down a few weeks ago. The repairs are going to cost more than the vehicle is worth, so she is truly in need of a reliable family vehicle. She has taken each setback in stride and has a steady trust that God will provide for her and her boys. Any help would be greatly appreciated this holiday season!
Thank you for doing this every year. Every year my mom asks me for a donation in her name in lieu of gifts. I love picking a family or two and shipping them gifts in her name and then wrapping up a piece of paper with “her families” and the gifts she sent them.
Thank you for sharing the stories of all of these lovely people!