The Christmas season is all about doing things to show others we care and spreading holiday cheer. This year, donations from generous supporters have allowed GreaterGood, in partnership with Greater Good Charities, to spread lots of good Christmas cheer by sending toys to at-risk and needy children in areas hit hard by poverty and natural disaster.
Recently, roughly $24,000 worth of toys, or about 1,500 toys, showed up to children in need in an area where poverty is high and rebuilding is still occurring after Hurricane Ida.
The Outreach Center, a 501c3 non-profit in Lafayette, Louisiana, accepted the shipments and delivered the toys to the children in their area who were most in need.
Most of these families were not expecting that their children would receive anything for Christmas, because there simply hasn’t been enough money for toys as they work to get their lives back on track. Imagine their surprise when these toys showed up!
“Thank you sooooo much! Our clients loved everything,” says Bruce Gilcrease, Executive Director of The Outreach Center.
The Outreach Center provides housing, temporary shelter, food, and other services to people who have fallen on hard times. They give food to the homeless, provide safe transportation to adequate shelter, offer employment assistance, and more.
Their Lighthouse Shelter can house up to 28 adults and children at a time, and they provide shelter, food, and laundry services there for up to 12 months while they work with families to help them get the resources they need to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient again. Their services include childcare, healthcare referrals, life skills training, and a wide variety of other necessities.
The Outreach Center also has a rapid re-housing program, which helps people secure rental deposits and utility deposits, pay their rent in the short term, and more. They even work with landlords to make providing housing to those without stellar renting records a win-win for everyone. There is a case manager working with each family for the duration to ensure they remain housed, stay on top of their bills, and have continued access to the resources they need.
The Outreach Center does a lot of vital work in their community, but one of the projects people often don’t see as “vital” is making the holidays happy for children in need and their families. This may not be viewed as a necessity, but improving morale can often give families the extra “oomph” they need to make big changes.
More importantly, having a good holiday helps these people in need feel human again, as many of them go through a period of feeling ostracized and not cared about. It shows them that their community cares and that they are valued.
These children will outgrow the toys they got this Christmas, but they’ll never outgrow the feelings they felt when they received what are probably the only gifts they’ll get this holiday season.
So many people have been going through hard times in the last couple of years. Everyone needs to feel loved and cared for, and your generous support has helped so many people who have fallen on hard times feel the love of their communities that they’ve been missing.
Thank you for your support! We hope you know that your generosity has not gone unnoticed this year! We at GreaterGood and GreaterGood Charities appreciate your continued support more now than ever.
It’s not too late to give toys to deserving kids in need! Donate now!