Our donors and volunteers often give their time, resources, and financial support to the GRACE mission without getting to see first hand the effects it has on our clients. With clients’ privacy as a high priority, this is understood to be the standard.

However, when we do receive heart-warming messages back from clients, we want to share them with those who made it all happen.

Recently, one of the Christmas Cottage clients reached out to share the following message:

Thank you for the help and support you have provided during these tough times that my family and I have gone through. If not for this program, I am not sure what we would have done. 

We would’ve definitely been evicted. We would’ve definitely been without electricity for a bit. And, we would’ve definitely had a much more somber Christmas. 

When Jamé told me about the cottage, I didn’t think much about it. In fact, I thought it was a “cool idea,” but I had my reservations and actually thought I wouldn’t go to it. She said it was a really good program. I took that with a grain of salt. People’s opinions can sometime be… fickle. I mean, who REALLY has the answer to the all-time great question: In-N-Out or Whataburger? 

“The toys are probably not all that great… I don’t have time to do it…” and the list of excuses kept going on and on in my head. Essentially, I didn’t want to get my hopes up to be dashed… we’ve been in a season of “dashing” and I simply did not want to add to the pile. 

With all that in mind, I am so glad that I listened to Jamé and not my own thoughts. 

“Wow” is the proper way to describe the experience we had at the cottage. From the volunteers who were so patient with us, the TOP-NOTCH selection of toys/gifts, right down to batteries for electronics, the experience was amazing. The toys were brand new. Modern. Not a Raggedy Ann doll with the eye button falling off. There was a Lego “island!!!” 

The cottage was perfect. Beyond what we were thinking. Beyond what we imagined. 

Besides “wow,” the best way to describe it would be to imagine the old Toys’R’Us commercials, where the kids run into the store and grab all the toys they want and leave with a cart full of the newest toys… that was my wife and I. We left with BAGS of gifts for our kids. So much, that we actually felt bad for the amount we were taking… the volunteers had to reassure us that there was more in the back a couple times 🙂

Gifts and presents are not the reason for the season. It’s a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior; however, I believe that gifts and presents are some of the tangible ways to express our Lord’s love, especially to the kids (and their parents who want to give them all of those things). 

Thank you so much, Jamé and Grace, for being the hands and feet of Jesus. What you all do is not simply “work,” but a purpose and we greatly appreciate what you all do.