HVAF’s Veterans Villa is helping Paul improve his life – little by littleJanuary 11, 2022
HVAF’s Veterans Villa gives Daniel the camaraderie he missed from the ArmyJanuary 31, 2022
Every year, my family and I travel to a tree farm to select the perfect Christmas tree! While it isn’t as dramatic as the Griswold’s, and I’m pretty sure nobody’s eyes are frozen shut- the tree holds a special place in our hearts. Our two girls select the tree, and this year, they even cut it down themselves! After decorating, presents are carefully placed and on Christmas morning joy fills our home as Santa has once again visited the Carlile’s!
Yet, this isn’t the Christmas story for everyone. There are families who dream of having a tree and presents, who want to make the Santa narrative real for their children but are unable to afford it. This is where HVAF was able to step in last month! We assisted 252 individuals for the holiday. Veterans submitted their wish lists and giving donors happily created lasting memories for the families. As the Community Engagement Coordinator, most of my role is spent outside of the organization and not with the veterans we are serving. After some pleading, I was able to deliver gifts to a family and this was my most special memory of the year as an employee.
When I knocked on the door, the family was so excited to receive their gifts and I was greeted so warmly. This veteran mom, Trinity, was working hard but could not buy for her kids. She had tears in her eyes and the stress visibly melted away as I gave bag after bag of presents. She hugged me and expressed how important these gifts were and how much they meant. Later, she gave a card to the donors who were so kind to provide for her family. Her experience reminded me of one Christmas where I had a similar experience.
After my husband lost his job, Christmas was a fleeting thought. How could we afford gifts when we were struggling to pay our mortgage and put food on the table? We had an infant and a six-year-old. A group sponsored our family that year and we had plenty of smiles Christmas morning. I remember how thankful I was and playing a small role in HVAF’s Christmas last month reminded me of those who have less and how important it is to give. We even had a donor surprise a family with a Christmas tree at their door, reminding us all, we can never take anything for granted!
Whether it’s a financial donation, clothing, food, or sponsoring a family at the Holiday – YOUR gift makes a lasting difference for the veterans we serve!