A community that gives back – Winners of “Give Homelessness a Holiday” Challenge

Our recent “Give Homelessness a Holiday” Challenge resulted in a generous outpouring of support from individuals, families and companies that wanted to be sure our clients all received the hope that comes with holiday gifts. Two of the winners of our Challenge, Justina Valentine and Denise Lefebvre and family, graciously offered to share their guest post opportunity with others, so we have decided to share a touching email received during the Challenge. The generosity evident in both winners, as well as in the family’s story below, is a continual reminder of the spirit of this season. We are so thankful for the support of our community!

Sharon and Ces Lawton dropping off gifts at the Coalition.

From the time our children could walk and understand, we would find a family that wasn’t going to have a Christmas because of their social/economic situation.  My wife would make phone contact with the family and secure the ages and gender of their children along with their possible wish list.

Before Christmas, our family would go on a shopping spree.  As our girls grew, they would be more and more pertinent in the gift selection.  They would let mom and dad know what would be a good gift and what would be lame.

On Christmas Eve, we would meet up with the parents at a predetermined time and place.  Our girls grew up understanding the meaning of Christmas was to share, especially to those who needed it the most.  That evening rendezvous would mean as much to our family as Christmas morning.

Somewhere around 12-14 years later, I hired a tree trimmer.  Halfway through his work, he let me know that he and his family were one of the families we had helped and how much it meant to his wife and kids.  To be honest, I couldn’t point out the first person we helped or give any of their names.  Our time with the parents was so short and it was so dark, it was exactly the way we wanted it.   We always wanted to allow the parent to remain the hero  of their child’s holiday, so names on either side were unimportant.

Once the girls moved away, our tradition hasn’t been the same.  We would like to volunteer to sponsor one of your clients.  Whether male or female, it doesn’t matter to us, so you can use us to fill whatever need you have.  We have an amazing family and have all been very blessed.  We would be honored to share the holiday spirit with Coalition for the Homeless.

Ces & Sharon Lawton