As we head towards Christmas we have been reflecting on the Christmas story and also some of the families that have been supported throughout the year. We thought it would be great to share of the stories that link to the Christmas story. We are blown away each Christmas by the generosity of churches, volunteer and supporters who give abundantly. This next story tells of just one of the families who were touched by the gifts they received this Christmas time. Below explains some of the impact simple gifts can have a for a family.
“They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh”
In the lead up to Christmas many families became very upset that they couldn’t afford things for Christmas, for Stacey, one of our Family Support Managers one has stood out in particular this year.
Stacey explains “Mum is a single parent and she has two wonderful boys. She has suffered horrendous domestic abuse, and this has even impacted on her most recent relationship that was a great support to her. Mum was notified a little while ago that she must move home asap due to significant risks around her ex-partner, she wasn’t given any additional info as to the reasons but she was aware the risks were serious.
Mum was very worried and emotional when I met with her a few weeks ago. She was very distressed about the fact she didn’t have any money for Christmas and was really struggling to make ends meet. I read her a poem I had seen on Social Media, which was lovely. It was a note from a teacher who reflected upon what children talked about when they returned after the Christmas holidays. They talked about the importance of family time and that children enjoyed simple things such as spending all day in their PJ’s, sleeping in their parents’ bed, staying up until late.
This made Mum smile, but I was very aware that she was very stressed and anxious about trying to move home and also feeling the pressure of Christmas. I visited her boys and they were fantastic young people, they were beaming throughout my visit, they even shook my hand when I left. I received a phone call from Mum the following day to say she was number one on the housing list and was waiting to find out if she would be offered the property.
Mum now has the keys to her new property which will allow the boys to move school (they are currently being bullied within their current school) and for the family to feel safe and secure within their home, which is not something they have felt in a long time.
As a team we acknowledged the need to support so many more families this year than last, so we applied to Cash for Kids and received over 50 toys and gifts, we put a post on our personal Facebook pages requesting donations of toys, clothes etc so we could bless the families we were concerned about. We raised over £240 to buy additional gifts and gift cards for family’s local supermarkets.
Over the last few of days, the team have been dropping these gifts and hampers to families in need and it has been such a privilege to support these families at Christmas time. This Mum was one of these families that I visited yesterday, and she said she couldn’t express how to thank us all, and she was so grateful. It’s amazing what a difference a couple of weeks can make!”
The family are now looking forward to Christmas and getting settled in their new home, with the prospect of a new start in 2019 with the hope of feeling safe and secure together as a family.