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 last year – see here! There are SO many in need right now and I want to be able to come together with all of you to help. This list will continue to grow DAILY so I will post when I add more and I will also let you know once we have fulfilled a family’s list. MY GOAL IS TO FULFILL ALL OF THESE and by the power of Christ, I KNOW THAT WE CAN. Every little bit counts and some of these are $5-10 items so just do what you can to help – it will go a long way!
This community will continue to amaze me each and every day. LET’S LIFT THESE FAMILIES UP in PRAYER and what we can do to make their holiday a special one this year. LET’S DO THIS!
Once the item is purchased, it disappears off the list so you won’t see what’s already been purchased!
“My husbands uncle, Jeffery Colkmire died from Covid last Monday. He got bad quite quickly and left behind his college aged son and wife. He had no life insurance or money of any kind set aside. His wife Cindy is a massage therapist. She too had Covid and is on the other end of it but is still weak. She could use some money for funeral cost and basic living needs while she recovers and learns to live life without him. Please consider helping this dear family out. She would be grateful and even a little bit would help. I wish he would have planned better.”
“I’m writing to nominate a very deserving family for your community giving outreach. Theresa’s daughter Christy was the victim of a gunshot wound to her head and shoulder (from her estranged husband). She is remarkably strong, and she was discharged to acute rehab within 2 weeks of her injury. Her progress is evident, but she does still have significant left hemiparesis. Christy is a mom to three beautiful little ones (2, 4, and 13), who now have their lives forever altered by their mom’s injury and the loss of their father/stepfather. Christy will require around the clock care upon discharge from rehab, as well as suffering from loss of wages, hospital bills, childcare expenses, etc. Here is the link for the Caringbridge Journal that Theresa has faithfully been updating daily to keep family and friends abreast of Christy’s recovery.
I am writing to suggest a truly deserving family that is in need of some help. My friend, Erin, lost her mom this summer to Glioblastoma. Her loss is only part of the story. Her husband is in heart failure and just this summer found out his donor kidney has failed. He is on dialysis and obviously has limitations to being able to work. Erin works tirelessly as a teacher while also raising her two young kids (a soon to be 7 year old boy and a 4 year old girl). After the birth of her daughter, Erin suffered a stroke while still in the hospital. She is lucky to be alive and only has some memory issues. If there was ever a family that needed a little help and to know there is good in the would it is the Arcarese family.
We are The Young family. Not only did we lose our home to the CZU Lightning Complex fire here in California, but my husbands childhood home, and I lost my childhood home. 3 homes within 24hrs. Not only has this devastated our lives, but also our spirit.
We lived on the same property as my in-laws. Fortunately the structure will be covered under my in-laws insurance, but we did not have renters insurance. We all thought our stuff would be covered since we are all family living on the same property and my father in law owned the house, but we were all mistaken. So everything we owned is gone, and won’t be covered to be replaced. We have to start from scratch. I appreciate you putting together a list of families to be adopted by your community! We would like to be considered!
My husband and I both grew up in the San Lorenzo Valley, where this fire storm hit us hard. The area hasn’t seen I fire like this in over 100years. My husband works from home for a communications company. I work part time in Ben Lomond at a doctors office as a phlebotomist. We have a daughter who is in first grade at Boulder Creek Elementary and a son who is about to turn 3 in November. We want nothing more to rise up with our community and help build back what was lost.
We honestly didn’t think our house would burn down when we were evacuated. We were awoken by a police officer at 5am telling us we had to leave. Panic set in and I packed a suitcase with 5 outfits for each of us, our cat and 100lb dog. The hard drives and a bin full of old pictures of my husband and I in high school and college. That’s it. I took a picture before we left early in the morning saying “stay safe house!” The next picture is the devastation the fire did to our poor home.
I would like to nominate the Schinzel family for your community giving. This family is very near and dear to my heart and could use a little extra help right now. Danielle and Billy have a beautiful 3 year old daughter McKenna. They have another daughter(Peyton) on the way due any day now (october14). Just a few months before getting pregnant with Peyton they suffered a miscarriage. So they were so happy to find out they were expecting again! At their 20 week ultra sound they were so excited to find out the gender of the baby to share with family the next night via a zoom meeting. But the ultra sound tech could not get a look at baby’s gender. They thought no big deal just a stubborn baby. They scheduled another ultra sound for the following week to find out baby’s gender. The tech still couldn’t see it. She called the doctor in the room and started to tell Danielle that they think her baby has something called bladder exstrophy. Danielle was alone in the appointment thanks to covid and immediately called her husband Billy and the doctors explained to both of them what it was. Baby Peyton will be born with bladder exstrophy a rare birth defect where her bladder is formed outside of her body. For the last 20 weeks of Danielle’s pregnancy she has been going to all of her doctors alone since her husband is not allowed in. Peyton will need 2 surgeries when she is about 6 weeks old. Surgery is split into two days. Day one will consist of bringing her pelvic bones more midline- the pubic bones are separated more than normal with exstrophy. This will be about a 4 hour day. Day two will be to close her bladder, make her urethra into a tube, & close abdominal walls (about a 10 hour day).These surgeries will take place at Boston children’s hospital in the end of November beginning of December. The family lives right outside of Portland Maine so will need to travel. Peyton and Danielle will stay in the hospital for 10 days after surgery. Then they will have to remain in a hotel close to Boston children’s hospital for 2 more weeks following discharge incase of complication. Danielle and Peyton will be in Boston for most likely both thanksgiving and Christmas. Billy and McKenna will visit on weekends while they are there as Billy still needs to work to provide for their family and McKenna will continue to go to daycare to give her some normalcy throughout all of the chaos. I would love to help this family out for the holiday season and make what they are going through a little easier. Financially I know they are struggling with bills already coming in from extra ultra sounds and MRI’s that Danielle has had to go through while pregnant. I know once baby Peyton makes her debut the bills are going to stack up more. I’d love to help them with just basic essentials and possibly some gifts for their sweet girls!
Emma and Jose are an incredible couple with two, adorable boys (3 and 1 year old!). They lost their uninsurable home in the Sonoma County wildfires and now have to start over from nothing, without any financial help. They are the epitome of a couple who has overcome and grown so much, all while staying loyal to each other – meeting in junior high, dating through high school and college, then marrying and starting their family. They give back to the community and youth in so many ways, I am ecstatic for them to receive the same kindness they have shown to so many.
Their daughter was born at just 24 weeks and has been in the NICU for 13 weeks with months ahead of her before she can come home. They live 2 hours from the hospital and have a 2 year old at home. They’ve missed so much time at work and with the holidays coming up any help is much appreciated. “We are humbled by the continued support and know that better days are coming for our family. Much Love & Many Thanks- Justin, Gina, Coast & Loa Harrell”
My husband and I met in high school and have been together for 13 year, married for 4 years and have 2 daughters. My husband was diagnosed with leukemia, CML, right before his 28th birthday. It came as a total shock. We only knew because of routine blood work. No family history. Just an achy back, but who doesn’t have an achy back with children. After, what seemed for forever, his oncologist/hematologist were able to find him a treatment plan. He is on forever chemo pills. This is taking a toll on his body. I broke down when his doctors told us “he was always in pain, but soon, he’ll be able to know life without pain once we find his treatment plan”. We are grateful for all his doctors. We had a 1 year old at the time but we knew our family wasn’t complete just yet. We tried for a second and thankfully, we were able to conceive before he started chemo. We haven’t been able to financially recover and the pandemic has added more burden (like to everyone else). We were in a car crash 5 days before I delivered our 2nd daughter. She was born via csection. We are all ok now. We are struggling and I would love some extra help this holiday season, not for myself or my husband, but for our daughters. My oldest is 2 and she loves holidays. I made it a goal last year to try to save enough for a fake Christmas tree (for us to reuse for many years) for her this year, but we had to use the money for other things. And my youngest is 5 months. She will be starting solids soon and I hope to be able to afford a special holiday meal for her to enjoy as well.
Justine, who was pregnant at the time, tested positive for COVID on Oct 19th. Her symptoms continued to get worse so they admitted her to the hospital. A few days later they transferred her to Mayo as a precautionary measure. That very next morning, both she and the baby were having complications and baby Ava had to be born via emergency c section. Ava got taken away right away since my sister was still positive with Covid and she was unable to hold her. A few days later, Justine’s lungs became even worse and she needed to be sedated. she’s currently still sedated and going through echmo, has a trach, and a vent. Sweet baby Ava had grade 4 hemorrhages and has had many other complications. She is still critical. Before all of this, Justine and her husband were about to close on their very first home. Her husband still plans to do this as this was something so important for her. Justine’s family would love to set her nursery up for her and get their house all ready for when they can, someday, come home. They would love to be able to give her some peace of mind that Ava has all of the best baby equipment out there that can help her stay safe when she’s home. Justine’s recovery will be extensive and they just want to give her every comfort possible to help her through this.
Amazon Wish List for The Anderson Family
10.) Hernandez Family | FULFILLED
“I have a question to ask, are you still accepting families this year? If you are, the Hernandez family is in need of help this year. Maria Hernandez (the mother) is in ICU due to complications with COVID. She has two kids, a 2 year old boy, Diego Hernandez, and a little girl who is 6, Liliana Hernandez. Maria’s kids have been staying at their grandmother’s home while she has been in ICU. The children are needing warm clothing, school supplies, hygiene items, and a few toys this holiday season.”
Amazon Wish List for the Hernandez Family
9.) The Nichols Family | FULFILLED
Adam is 41 years old and has stage 4 colorectal cancer with multiple metastases in his liver. He is married to Bre (33) and they have 2 daughters Kora (8) and Nova (2.5). Adam just finished his 8th round of chemo this week at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. Prior to the next round in 2 weeks, he will have a CT scan to determine next steps and see if the tumors are shrinking. As of this summer his 5 year survival rate was 11%.He is at home full time and is there with his 8 yr old doing virtual school everyday! Bre, his wife, is a principal and able to work a few days per week from home.Adam and Bre are nothing short of amazing. Despite the crazy year and cancer diagnosis they still find joy and gratitude daily.Adam is an amazing DJ and now that he is not working he is spending time with family and working on his music, while trying to stay healthy and traveling back and forth from Minneapolis to Rochester every two weeks for chemotherapy.
Amazon Wish List for The Nichols Family
10.) The Braswell Family | FULFILLED
Michelle is a nurse who contracted COVID-19 back in March and spent several weeks in the hospital, followed by several weeks in a rehab facility. She was away from her three sons during these times, her 11 year old + 8-year old twins. Michelle is a single-mom who has been unable to return to work, as a result of long-term physical effects on her heart + lungs from COVID. This family has worked tirelessly trying to receive financial assistance through the state, however has been unsuccessful. She has had great difficulty paying her rent, bills, car bill, + groceries. Just this past week, her car has been towed from her home. She just informed me that her 3 boys made Christmas lists this week, however she knows she is not going to be able to buy anything, due to her current financial situation. Michelle would be grateful for any assistance during these times!! The wedge cushion and air purifier have been added to her wish list, as these were recommended by her pulmonologist due to her respiratory impairments, however she has been unable to afford to purchase on her own.
Amazon Wish List for The Braswell Family
11.) The Rhatigan Family | FULFILLED
Caleb turned 33 years old just weeks before the unexpected finding of a brain tumor the size of an orange in his frontal lobe during a routine MRI for ocular migraines. He was diagnosed with Grade 2 Diffuse Astrocytoma following his craniotomy in early September where the surgeon was only able to remove half of the tumor. Caleb is married to Jordan and they have two sons, Brooks (4) and Hayes (2). Caleb and Jordan both are working full time from home with the hopes of their family staying as healthy as possible, especially during the winter months.
He is currently in the middle of the first part of his treatment plan – simultaneous chemotherapy and radiation for 6 weeks here in Huntsville, AL. After a follow up MRI in December, his team of doctors both here and in Birmingham at UAB, will decide how much more chemotherapy he will need (typically 6-12 months) to stop the growth of the tumor.
This has been the most challenging season of the almost 10 years they’ve been together! They’re taking it day by day, and some days hour by hour. But still somehow they are finding ways to laugh, especially with the boys, and find joy in the little moments each day!
Amazon Wish List for The Rhatigan Family
12.) The Lindley Family | FULFILLED
Jonathan and Rhiannon have five children. Rhiannon has battled cancer and relapsed several times and is currently in the ICU just 100 days out from her last stem cell transplant. Her latest bone marrow biopsy showed 80% cancer. Their youngest baby also just got released from the NICU. Please lift this family up in prayer!
Amazon Wish List for The Lindley Family
13.) The Shellenberger Family | FULFILLEDSarah Shellenberger and her husband Scott got married in 2018 and started trying for a family right away. After nearly a year and a half of struggles and heartbreak, they turned a fertility clinic and IVF for help. Sarah was on her way home from their second egg retrieval in February of 2020, when she got a call, letting her know that Scott had suffered a heart attack while teaching and was unresponsive in the ICU. Sarah flew home as quickly as possible and was able to be by Scott’s side for 2 days until he was removed from life support at the age of 41.Scott was an amazing husband, Science Professor, son, brother, student and friend. He was a massive OU football fan, enjoyed being involved in his home church, and loved all things outdoors. He was able to donate his organs and saved 3 lives, which is a silver lining for 3 families around the US.Six months after Scott’s passing, Sarah went back to their fertility clinic to transfer the first of their 2 frozen embryos. She and Scott wanted nothing more than to raise a family together, and Sarah promised Scott that she would carry on with their IVF journey, alone. The transfer miraculously worked and Sarah is pregnant with their son and due in May of 2021.Sarah is a public school teacher and lives on a small farm in Oklahoma with their rescue animals (and one non-rescued, very spoiled indoor pig). Knowing that Sarah lost Scott’s salary and was struggling to pay for hospital bills and IVF/baby expenses, Sarah’s friend nominated her for this holiday give away. Sarah was moved to tears when she heard she was chosen and wants you all to know how incredibly grateful she is for this amazing opportunity for her and her son.
Amazon Wish List for The Shellenberger Family
14.) The Kimbrough Family | FULFILLED
The Kimbrough family has been going through a terrible time. Their daughter was diagnosed with Smith Kingsmore syndrome at birth and has had to endure so much in her short little life so far. Most recently she has been at the children’s hospital in St. Louis (About 4 hours away from their home) with multiple issues. She recently had to have brain surgery along with so many other complications. This family also has three other children that have had to stay with family in their hometown so they can be with their daughter Laramie. I know this is so hard on all of them being separated. After 70+ days of Laramie in the hospital and being separated from their other children they were able to come home for one night but then Laramie had a seizure in the middle of the night and had to be flown back to St. Louis. They are now back at the Children’s Hospital and have no clue when they’ll be able to return home again. The father is a farmer and the mother is a stay at home mom so I can only imagine how hard this has been not only emotionally but also financially.
Amazon Wish List for The Kimbrough Family
15.) The Cota Family | FULFILLED
My aunt lost her husband to pancreatic cancer two years ago and she’s been struggling to get by since. About a month ago she had to have her appendix removed so what little work she had, she had to stop while she was recovering. She works cleaning homes and in a food truck. With COVID there isn’t a lot of business. Paying rent and bills has become extremely difficult. Her daughter just gave birth to a baby boy. The baby is so loved and their friends helped out but they could benefit from any help like groceries and diapers/wipes.
Amazon Wish List for The Cota Family
16.) The Aleman Family | FULFILLED
If you’re still taking nominations I would absolutely love for you to consider my sister-in-law Sara AlemanI’ve known Sara for nearly 10 years, and I can say without a doubt she is one of the hardest working mothers I know. She got pregnant at 16 and was thrown out of the house (luckily the relationship with her parents has mostly healed). While raising her son as a single mom with limited support, Sara was able to overcome a world of obstacles. She’s never had less than 3 jobs, recently graduated with her masters in Occupational Therapy, all while maintaining a safe and loving home for herself and her son Jacob. I admire her as a mother so much, she has always made Jacob her first priority no matter what. From cooking meals together to creating fun and exciting science experiments in their basement apartment, she has shown me how be a super mom even when there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day (or night) to complete all the grad school homework she had. And Jacob… he has grown into a hard working, compassionate, curious, funny middle schooler. All his best qualities learned from his mother.During Covid, her hours were severely cut but she was able to find work in her field, servicing patients who need her. Sara has an incredible heart and love for others. And now, her heart and belly are growing as she and her partner are expecting a new baby. It’s been 10 years since having Jacob and as excited as they are, it all seems new again. She is still working her numerous jobs, OT and waitressing at two different restaurants but when it’s time for baby to be here in March, there won’t be as much coming in. It would be such an incredible blessing to help her out, as she is always giving parts of herself to others. Young mothers often don’t have a large community but I know that help from the community that you’ve gathered would mean more to her than anything else.
Amazon Wish List for the Aleman Family
17.) The Cardona-Reyes Family | FULFILLEDThroughout this entire time of COVID, I have been blessed with the ability to work from home— however my income alone is not enough to support us, and we struggle to make ends meet with basic necessities/bills. In a couple of days on the 31st, I will be continuing my education to complete my degree in Psychology.Currently, we are renting a room and we are very uncomfortable here, but the cost of living in NY is super expensive and it’s better than the negative environment that we just left.Since unemployment payments have stopped, I am pretty much the sole provider for us because with what my girlfriend makes, take home weekly after taxes, is roughly around $200 a week. I am trying to pay off my personal debt (acquired at a young age due to not understanding or being taught the importance of credit), help her manage her debt, pay weekly rent, cable/internet bill, and also phone bill for the both of us, plus food (no food stamps for us). I’m on edge because in order to continue to work from home, the cable/internet and my cell phone bills needs to be paid. TV is something to entertain us since COVID numbers continue to fluctuate (and we are stuck in a room) and keeps us informed with daily news also.It’s mind-boggling because what we pay in rent, we could’ve been in an apartment, but with the way our credit is currently, there’s no hope. Credit is everything, even with proof of income or receipts from our current landlord.We definitely need help, and I am open to accepting any help you are willing to provide. ~ Linda
Amazon Wish List for The Cardona-Reyes Family
18.) The Joksch Family | FULFILLED
At 20 weeks pregnant Andrea discovered her son, Elijah, would be born with a rare heart condition called HLHS, where he would only have half a heart. This didn’t phase them as parents— they sacrificed so much to give him every chance at life he could get, which included moving to San Francisco following his birth for his first month of life so that he could receive his first of 3 crucial open-heart surgeries. Elijah rocked his first surgery at 6 days old, and will be going back in December or January for his next! Help me bless this fam with his necessities (including gift cards for mom and dad to help with funds as they will be traveling back and forth to SF for his next surgery, and lengthy recovery) so that they can focus on what matters— loving their sweet son!
Amazon Wish List for The Joksch Family
19.) Nicole Tabak & Family | FULFILLED
Nicole is a nanny in Texas who relocated from Connecticut to help her fiancé with his daughter. He recently lost his job due to COVID-19. Nicole recently has been dropped from her normal 40 hours a week to sporadic hours. (Due to COVID-19) They are a very loving family who deserve nothing but the best! I would love to send help their way!
Amazon Wish List for Nicole & Family
20.) The Dennis Family | FULFILLED
Kate and Sean Dennis have three young sons, and their five year old, Arlo, has an extremely rare encephalopathy/epileptic genetic disorder called STXBP1. Arlo’s health issues require specialized therapy and expensive equipment and products. Sean lost his job due to Covid back in May and this has made their financial situation more dire. His wife, Kate, is a stay at home mom and caregiver to their three children, devoting her life to Arlo’s round the clock care. The Dennis family are incredibly deserving and kind people. Even through their own struggles, they’ve always sought to help their fellow families in need in the STXBP1 community. Thank you so very much for choosing to help them in their time of need! Prayers for their family are always appreciated.
Amazon Wish List for The Dennis Family
21.) Amanda Lipton | FULFILLED
Amanda runs the home daycare that my kids attend. When covid hit she lost all of her kiddos including mine because all of us were laid off or didn’t have work at the time. She also has 4 kids of her own aged from 8-17. She’s been a huge member of our tribe and treats my kids as her own. Distance learning is about to begin this week and since I am now back to work, she is not only taking both of my kids but she is helping my son do distance learning for TK. That is not going to be easy. She offered to work with us when we went back to work because she knew we would also be struggling. She is very family oriented and her entire family has become ours She’s made it work this far but I believe it would be a huge blessing if she could have some of the pressure relieved. Thank you for you time and consideration.
Amazon Wish List for Amanda Lipton
22.) The Tyler Family | FULFILLEDChris was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in 2015. Brittany and Chris’s son Brayden was 8 months old when Chris was diagnosed. Chris went through his first brain surgery and 30 rounds of radiation with strength and positivity. Since then, he has had an additional 8 brain surgeries due to the tumors reoccurring. He and Brittany are high school sweethearts and his family is what keeps his motivated to push through each day!
Amazon Wish List for The Tyler Family
23.) The Epling Family | FULFILLED
Leah was the sole income for her and their two boys (4&1). Their struggles first started before covid hit when the Nashville tornado destroyed all three of the restaurants that Leah worked at to support her family and their car. Then when the restaurants were finally repaired enough for reopening they shut down for covid. They’ve been doing odds and ends jobs like lawn work, dog/baby sitting and walking, risking covid and becoming shipt shoppers and Ubereats drivers just so Silas and River can eat and keep the electricity on.
Amazon Wish List for The Epling Family
24.) The Cunningham Family | FULFILLED
Sawyer and Abby are in need of a little extra love and support this holiday season. Over the last two years they have been met with more challenges than most people face in a lifetime. However, they have both faced these challenges and setbacks with positivity and grace. At just 8 days old Sawyer was diagnosed with biliary atresia, he underwent a procedure at that time, but ultimately needed a liver transplant. On August 27, 2019 Sawyer received a liver transplant. Unfortunately, a little over a year later he developed a condition called post transplant lymphoproliferative disorder which is a group of various degrees/types of lymphomas. PTLD is the most common cause of post transplant cancers. Treatment for this based on Sawyer’s specific case includes an infusion called Rituximab. Work up and placement of a PICC line has included numerous covid tests, anesthesia for bone marrow biopsies, spinal taps, and placement of the above mentioned central line for him to receive the medication through. These are very long days, some unexpected overnight stays, all for a child who is barely 2 years old. As Abby navigates this new chapter in their lives, she does so optimistically. As a single mother and business owner Abby attends weekly infusions with Sawyer at the local hospital, hence needing to take time away from her work. I think most people who know her would agree that Sawyer is lucky to have such a selfless mother and caretaker.
Amazon Wish List for The Cunningham Family
25.) The Stalder Family | FULFILLED
Blake and Sarah have twin boys that are 3 years old. One of their boys, Nicholas( Nicky) , has Acute leukemia with rare genetic mutation which is extremely hard to treat. Last year they started treatment and was staying at the hospital for weeks . When they thought he was in the clear and doing well they just received devastating news that his cancer back and they moved back to the hospital for the next few months . Nicky is always asking where his best friend Ollie is and even though they started a more extensive chemotherapy regimen on Nicky, he continues to smile and win the nurses hearts over. He is now in search of a bone marrow donor , unfortunately his twin brother is not a match. Sarah and Blake are amazing parents and have done everything for their family. This would just give them so much light in these dark days!
Amazon Wish List for The Stalder Family
26.) The Wood Family | FULFILLED
Jessi Wood gave birth to her fourth daughter on September 14th. Lizzie was born at a healthy 8 lb 9 oz.Following a very normal birth, Jessi began hemorrhaging, which ultimately resulted in a stroke and brain bleed. After a brain surgery to stop the bleed and then another to remove bone flap to allow for the excessive swelling occurring, Jessi spent about forty-eight hours in touch and go condition. Once her medical team was finally able to get her vitals stable, she was life-flighted to Vidant Medical Center to be in their neuro ICU.Over the next week, Jessi was slowly eased out of sedation. Each day she was more and more alert, and after practicing for days on end she found her voice again. Jessi was unable to feel or move the entire left side of her body upon waking up. A broken jaw from the ventilator resulted in loose teeth that had to be held together by a wire. As Jessi’s brain is not protected by skull due to the bone flap being removed, she spends much of her days in a helmet.After an incredibly long 6.5 weeks in the hospital and every rehabilitation therapy under the sun, Jessi was reunited with her three daughters (ages: 7 and twin 4 year olds) and with her newborn for the first time. She’s been home almost two weeks now and is adjusting along with her husband and children to this new normal. She begins outpatient therapy next week, and works every day to regain more use of her left side. Her family came together to build Jessi a wheelchair ramp on their house to make transporting more efficient.Life looks a little different than Jessi and her husband, Brent, had planned. They both work in the school system, and currently do not have a return to work date on the horizon as Jessi is currently dependent on Brent’s care. Jessi will undergo brain surgery again in December to have her bone flap replaced. There is so much hope that Jessi will be able to walk again, but it will just take time.Thank you for considering helping this sweet family; they have been so blessed with many prayers and thoughts. They are so thankful and grateful for all those that have contributed or helped them in any way thus far.
Amazon Wish List for The Wood Family
27.) The Thomas Family | FULFILLED
35 year old Brad Thomas passed away on November 8th after only 4 months of battling stage 4 Colon Cancer. Christina, his beautiful young wife, is left behind to provide for their 9 year old daughter and 6 year old son all in the mists of a raging pandemic. The Thomas family is such an important part of our community and we are hoping to eliminate some of their needs in the upcoming months. And please know that Christina is one of the most appreciative and grateful people I’ve ever met. Please help us put a smile on a very deserving family’s face!
Amazon Wish List for The Thomas Family
28.) Debbie’s Family | FULFILLED
“Are you still accepting family nominations? If so, I’d like to nominate Debbie, she’s a mom of three grown sons, she’s a hard worker. She never takes a day off just to make ends meet. Her house flooded in hurricane Harvey and she still hasn’t been able to fix it up. She’s been living with no floors(just concrete), half walls, she sleeps on her couch. Her sons have all tried their best to help get things back together but they also have families and homes of their own. She’s a very kind, loving woman who also has pets. Her house is livable but there’s so much more that needs to be done. Any and all help would be so helpful and appreciated!”
Amazon Wish List for Debbie’s Family
29.) The Ellis Family | FULFILLED
My name is Alysa and I’ve been a server for over 15 years. I just really love people and good conversation. I have a 12 year old daughter, Stella and a 3 year old boy, Jameson. The last few years have been a serious struggle for us and then covid. It honestly feels like we haven’t had a real Christmas in a couple years. We relocated from Florida to Kentucky about a year and a half ago and had to start over from scratch. I literally worked my butt of to make it. When covid hit I lost my job at a local restaurant I’ve been at since we moved here. Unemployment in Kentucky is kind of a joke. The positive is I’ve got our bills and rent covered for December, that I made sure of. I was able to get a very small tree and a few ornaments to bring our spirits up My daughter has really gotten the worst of it this year. She missed out on starting 6th grade and has developed into a beautiful young lady but has fallen into a depression from it all. Everyday is a struggle with body confidence and positivity. I just want to see her happy and it’s worse every day. Our big boy is a wild little thing. He brings all of us extra happiness when we are down. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them, I’m sure of it. I honestly just was going to cancel Christmas again this year for us. I can’t even think about budgeting it. There’s no budget. I will be praying we have a chance at this. Thank you for even reading it. I’m not great with words I just knew I needed to write this all down and pray. Thank you for listening.
Amazon Wish List for The Ellis Family
30.) The De Mora Family | FULFILLED
Carlos and Nikki have 3 kids (17, 14 and 12). Carlos is a veteran that served in Iraq many terms. He was on the front line as a mortar man. He witnessed many IUD explosions as well as many fatalities. Sadly, he was not the same person after returning home several years ago. He had PTSD severely and had episodes of being paranoid of an attack at home from all he witnessed serving our country. Sadly, our country does not give our veterans all the help they really need after suffering such tragic events and deaths of fellow soldiers. Carlos passed away unexpectedly in September.
The children have also experienced trauma from witnessing their father’s episodes and various hospitalizations due to his PTSD. It has very much affected their whole family dynamic and has put a lot on Nikki’s shoulders. She has been unable to work because she has to take care of the kids and was caring for Carlos.
They are currently looking to relocate closer to family because they really need some stability and normalcy in their lives. Thank you for your consideration and support!
Amazon Wish List for The De Mora Family
31.) The Hissa Family | FULFILLED
I would like to nominate my daughter and her family. They have been hit hard due to covid and other life issues and losses.My daughter started a new dream job in January 2020 only 2 weeks in she got a call at work saying her father had passed. She stayed strong and got through and back to work. She works for her local health clinic and is program facilitator for a program called FoodFit. It brings local, low income community members together and she teaches them how to cook simple and cost efficient meals. Something she is passionate about, along comes March and Covid 19. The community side of the health clinic closes and she is without a job only after 2.5 months. Thankfully her husband was still working but shortly after his hours were reduced and he was sent home for 4 months on limited pay.My daughter and her husband have 3 wonderful boys, Landon is 14, Logan is 11 and Leeland is 4. I don’t get to see them as much as I would like but Facebook helps! Schools were shut down after march break and all 3 boys were now home for the rest of the school year.While my daughter was home with no work she focused on her small at home business, but shortly after April her grandmother became very ill and had several falls. One fall brought her to the ER and they found that her uterine cancer was back as was breast cancer in her remaining breast. My daughter dropped everything and came 4 hours away from home to help me care for her grandmother. Her battle with cancer ended July 2 2020. Im so grateful for my daughter coming and having time with her grandmother and making some lasting memories.Im nominating my daughter and her family because they make things work, they get by. Im not able to help them like I would, they used all their savings for bills, food and rent during covid. Money they were saving for a down payment for their own home. If I could nominate them for some help in anyway I would be grateful.
Amazon Wish List for The Hissa Family
32.) The Thibault Family | FULFILLEDI would like to nominate my dear friend Missy Thibault and her husband Chris. Chris is currently battling stage 4 breast cancer and is currently recovering from recent brain surgery. Chris is a dedicated husband and father as well as small business owner. Missy and Chris own a production company together to support their three children: Brayden 12, Skylar 5, and Cassidy 3. Chris’s work ethic remains incredible but the cancer that he battles takes a huge toll on his stamina. Despite his determination to push through, Covid-19 has also had a significant impact on their business.Missy and Chris live each day exuding positivity and hope despite markedly difficult times. Just last year Chris also lost his younger brother to cancer. My hope this holiday season is to help a family focus on their time together and continue to see the good in the world. Thank you so much.
Amazon Wish List for The Thibault Family
33.) The Derefaka Family | FULFILLED
My name is Taylor Derefaka, my coworker nominated my family for help this holiday season. On thanksgiving, my life as well as my family’s was changed forever. I carried my healthy baby boy for 9 months. I never in a million years would’ve thought this could happen to me, especially on a day that was about coming together with family. My beautiful baby boy Tamunotonye passed away in his sleep. It feels like just yesterday that my family was arguing over baby names. When I heard Tamunotonye and it’s translation, Favour from God, I didn’t hesitate. I knew that would be your name. I don’t know why God made your time with us so short, but I’m thankful for all the smiles you brought while you were here. My husband, Abi, and I are asking for help to send him off. Our family has been a wreck worrying about still having a decent holiday season for the sake of our older two kids, Alabo and Bibi. The things in the list are things that our family could use around the house and we heal and repair as well as Christmas items for our kids.I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this, given our situation. Even if not one thing is purchased, I’m still very grateful.
Amazon Wish List for The Derefaka Family
34.) Sara | FULFILLED
Sara is diagnosed with Facioscapulohumeral (FSH) muscular dystrophy, an incurable muscle-wasting disease that progressively weakens the body. Due to Chicago’s strict quarantine regulations, Sara was unable to receive the necessary and regular care she needs and, therefore, has lost a significant amount of strength and function. Sara has lost the ability to reach over shoulder height, cannot carry heavy items, experiences difficulty walking, and has chronic pain and fatigue due to the muscle loss. Sara is trying to manage massive changes with her muscle functioning and is having to make adaptions to the majority of her daily routine at home to continue to live independently, all while still working in the community to serve those with severe mental illness. She needs help in making adaptions to her home and affording necessary materials to live a comfortable life with muscular dystrophy and the continued wasting of muscles as she loses her abilities.
Amazon Wish List for Sara
35.) The Lawrence Family | FULFILLEDMy husband, Ben was diagnosed with leukemia (CML) two years ago at age 39. He has since failed five treatments and is now getting a bone marrow transplant in January 2021 at Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN. We are beyond thankful to the selfless person who is giving him a second chance at life. This step, means Ben and I will be moving to MN (3 hours from home) for 3.5 months living in a hotel while our 5 kids (ages 18, 15, 11, 8 and & 7) and get split up to stay with friends and family. Due to Covid, we can’t have any visits from them and I need to be Ben’s primary caregiver so I also need to be kept isolated.Ben was our main source of income and my hours will get cut to part time as I take on full time caregiver role and will need to work remotely. We need to take on the hotel expense as the Hope Lodge is closed due to Covid.We have a long difficult road ahead and are thankful for the possible support and prayers from this community.Ben and Nicole Lawrence and family
Amazon Wish List for The Lawrence Family
My name is Alexis and I’m writing in from the very small town of Pittsfield, Maine. We are a family of 6, We have 4 children and 3 fur babies.
I decided to take a shot in the dark, set aside my pride and reach out for help when we truly need it the most. This year, as much as we have tried to stay happy and positive and see the good in everything, has been financially crippling and we are just barely making ends meet. I know that Christmas is about much more then gifts as do my children because we just don’t have that much to give. My girls really enjoy dressing Up and asked me for some fancy dresses and a few other things for Christmas but we just can’t afford but I It would really make them so happy to get some this year for Christmas. I am reaching out to see if you can send something for them to help cut costs for us
in hopes that the person reading this now understands the struggle of parenthood and wanting to see their kids faces light up on Christmas with something to open under the tree.
If you can find it in your heart to help my family this year to receive something for Christmas, it would be a blessing.
Alicia Montes and her children have had a rough year. After losing her home and husband, things have not been busy. The family is currently staying at a family member’s basement until she can get back on her feet. Before her husband’s passing they were using his work truck to drive everywhere they needed to go. Now Alicia walks by foot to make sure her children have food to eat. She would love any help this holiday season. Thank you! *UPDATE* We were able to get the family an apartment and the next three month’s rent paid. She is needing basic housewares to get started at her new apartment.
5 month old baby girl Giuliana, “Gigi”, was diagnosed with ACC. ACC is a rare illness that affects 1 in 10,000 people. The effects can range from mild to severe and can be very debilitating to the child. Gigi does not have a normal functioning brain. With ACC, a person does not have a corpus callosum which separates the left and right brain, helping both sides to work together. This illness can cause seizures, hearing loss, loss of sight, poor muscle tone, and poor coordination. Gigi may have to undergo surgery in the future for Hydrocephalus, another illness she suffers from. Since this came to light, Gigi and her family have been to many Dr. visits and have many more in their future. Gigi has many doctors such as a Neurologist, Neurosurgon, Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, Audiologist, Pediatrician, as well as an OT, PT, and future Speech Pathologist. This is just the beginning to help Gigi live a life like the other little children her age. On top of the DeAngelo’s Baby Gigi struggling with these illnesses at only 5 months old, her parents, Emily and Mike have a 16 month old and are expecting a 3rd child.
I’d like to nominate my younger brother, Thomas and his 10 month old son, Wyatt. My brother has been, much like all of us, very affected by the covid pandemic. He is a mechanic, that works on commission, and since the pandemic began people aren’t having their cars worked on, because most people locally are working from home and not traveling. He is lucky if brings home half of what his pay check used to be, while working 40+ hours a week. That obviously doesn’t even cover his mortgage, much less his childcare, electric, health insurance, water, food or baby needs. I recently found out through one of my friends, that my younger brother, Thomas, had gotten a second job, working until midnight most nights. He doesn’t know that I know, and doesn’t want any of our family to know. I know he has to be so tired. We are proud that he’s doing what he has to, to try and make ends meet. He works from 7am-4pm at the mechanic shop, and then 5pm- 12am at the second job. I know he could use some help this holiday season.
On Saturday, Dec. 5th we received the devastating news that my sister’s house had caught on fire. We are so grateful that Jocelyn or Erick, nor their 4 children were inside the home at the time of the fire, but also hurt that years of memorabilia and personal belongings have been destroyed. We are asking our family, friends and all to unite and help this family. May God bless you all and repay you tenfold for your prayers and donations ~much love the Arevalo and Perez family
Jazmine resides in CT and is a single mother of a 13 year old daughter and a 4 year old son with ASD. Jazmine is struggling financially and is looking for any and all help this year. Jazmine had to pay for rent and bills this month and has nothing left over for Christmas shopping or necessities.
In just one short week the lives of Eric, Korinne, and their two boys Samson and Sawyer were tragically changed forever. Eric had experienced some chest pain a few weeks ago and was scheduled for a stress test which was to take place on December 13th. On Saturday, November 28th the pain increased to the point where he sought medical attention at the hospital. While in the hospital, awaiting test results, Eric experienced a massive heart attack; unusual for an active, healthy, 48-year-old man. On Monday, November 30th a seemingly successful quadruple bypass surgery was performed. Shortly after Eric regained consciousness from the bypass surgery, further tests, procedures, and complications resulted in Eric going into cardiac arrest where his surgical team performed CPR for an hour. Unfortunately, while the heart was repaired, his brain suffered irreparable damage due to lack of oxygen during the resuscitation efforts. Eric’s wish was to share the gift of life with others should his own be cut short. His wife Korrine, his sister Eva, and his father Steve honored Eric’s wishes to donate his organs. On Saturday, December 5th, as hospital staff members honored him by lining the corridors, Eric made his final walk to the OR with his wife, Korinne. She played recordings from his live performances (Eric had the most magnificent voice) and said her final goodbye. Eric’s gift of life saved three lives and could impact over 50 others. Eric Kesler was an amazing father, a devoted husband, brother and son, and a gifted musician who shared his talents through opera. He loved his family deeply, and anyone who knew Eric knew that his family was the most important thing in his life. This happy life was cut short far too early. He leaves behind Korinne Smith, now a single mother at age 32, and his two wonderful boys Samson age 6 and Sawyer age 3, who absolutely adored their father. As they try to reconcile this horrendous event, Korinne will need much emotional and financial support. The medical expenses will be astronomical, and there are many other immediate expenses such as funeral costs. Now that Korinne is on her own, additional funding is needed for household necessities, child care, mortgage payments, the boy’s college fund, and all other daily needs. As a single mother, this is extremely challenging to meet while grieving the tragic and unexpected loss of her husband. Your generosity will go far and any amount will be appreciated by Korinne, her boys, and her family.
9 year-old Harlem was diagnosed with Rhadosarcoma at the age of 1 and then Osteosarcoma at 8. He has a rare genetic mutation that will continue to grow tumor based cancers throughout his life. His mother, Tiffany, has worked through the pandemic as an essential employee and is working to balance full-time work, virtual learning and Harlem’s medical needs with very little support. She would like to be able to give Harlem a good Christmas and birthday celebration in January.
My mom raised me and my two sisters alone. She has a small business that has been ruined because of corona. She worked really hard the last few years and overnight her store was pretty much gone. With the rules being that people can’t gather in groups her business has been closed since it started. My mom works so hard for our family and always faces set backs. She is doing anything and everything she can to pay the bills and put food on the table. I know she is worried about Christmas but she wouldn’t let us know that. Thank you for reading this.
Right before Covid hit, they were evicted from their home in Florida along with their 4 children and times have made it very hard for them to get back on their feet. Both mom and dad are deaf and kids have tried to manage the situation but its really hard for them as now they are living in a basement with hardly anything.
The children need winter clothing and some bedroom items to make the space a little more manageable for them. They have 1 girl (17) and 3 boys (16-14 and 11). They currently have a mattress on the floor with hardly any bedsheets. They have relocated to New Jersey and are not equipped for the weather to come.
My name is Jessica Velez, and my mother Liliana was diagnosed with Lymphoma back in June. We went through a really aggressive chemotherapy treatment. 5 days 24 hours straight every 3 weeks. After 6 rounds of chemotherapy the last PET scan showed that there is still as small mass. She was referred to a different hospital because she needs a biopsy that is very complicated since the mass in located in the pelvis right next to the aorta vein. While in the process her employer decided that they couldn’t hold her job anymore and terminated her contract after the 12 weeks of (FMLA). She lost her health insurance, and hasn’t been receiving money from the state for the past 3 weeks since we have to apply for Social Security Disability. I am the only child, and support my mother has all of our family is back in Colombia. We have been living in the U.S.A since 2014, and really appreciate all the opportunities that this country and it’s beautiful people have given to us. I’m thankful for communities like this that share love and support. Thank you! Jessica and Liliana
Andy and Barbara Roland are the parents of 3 beautiful children. Their oldest daughter Charlotte, age 7, was diagnosed with cancer over the summer. On Friday, June 26, Charlotte was rushed to Penn State Saint Joseph’s ER in Reading, PA for a brain bleed. She was taken immediately by helicopter to the children’s hospital at Hershey where she had emergency brain surgery to alleviate the swelling and remove the bleed. Charlotte was diagnosed with a high grade, level 4 medulloblastoma brain tumor by the doctors at CHOP in Philadelphia. Barbara and Andy were faced with the very difficult decision to either begin chemo and radiation at CHOP, which would mean a longer more intense treatment, or participate in a clinical trial at St. Jude’s. This option would be less intense meaning less secondary effects or cancers, but less published results. Ultimately, they prayed on their decision heavily, and with much research they chose to begin treatment at St. Jude’s. Since this option is much further away from home, Barbara and Charlotte will be spending an extended period of time away from their family in PA. After months of hardship, breathing tubes, G tubes, pneumonia, trouble hearing/seeing/walking, and many other struggles, this beautiful, deserving family could sure use some holiday spirit!!