I have never issued a Red Alert at Christmastime before… but this year is unlike any other.

Typically, our community gatherings often contain a component of giving back and supporting the GRACE Christmas Cottage.  In a normal year, toy collections and volunteers are gathered at the festivities that fill our holiday calendars. Our community always seems to provide just the right resources at just the right time!

2020 is different!  But we, at GRACE, are committed to providing as much of a normal Christmas for ALL children as we possibly can. So, I’m coming to you for help.

Our Christmas Cottage began serving families this past Monday and, as expected, people are flocking in the doors. We know from the number of client families coming to us that there is a great deal of need in our community. We have already more than doubled the amount of families that we served last year.  We also know GRACE is one of very few agencies mounting a holiday program this year.

Our reserves are drastically below previous years, so we are already cutting back the number of gifts each child will receive in order to make sure each child is taken care of. At this point, I am concerned about the number of toys and gifts we have even getting us through the next critical 15 days.

I’m also becoming desperate for volunteers who are willing to help our families shop the cottage – and who are willing to adhere to our very strict safety standards. While we have had to curb the large group gatherings, we have lots of opportunities and are truly in need of caring people to lend a hand.

And finally, I am seeking prayers of support, guidance, wisdom, and strength for the GRACE Staff.  This has been a grueling year and our team is running on empty. In order to provide services that maintain our standards of Excellence, Compassion, & Respect our team pours themselves into each and every client.  Hearing the unbearable strain our client families are under – and addressing the increased volume of new clients have weakened even our most seasoned staff. They will recover, but we will need God’s help to care for our caregivers through these critical times.

If you are able to help:

  • Provide Toys:
    • Print our Christmas Toy Wish List
    • Buy Gifts online and delivered to the Cottage:  Wal-Mart Wish List and Amazon Wish List
    • Host a “Safe” Toy Drive in your neighborhood, office or church. Contact Toy Drive for assistance.
  • Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Financial Contribution:
    • You can make a donation online to support GRACE families who are struggling. Join us in our mission to help those going through a crisis become self-sufficient again by making a  Financial Gift.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Please include our Direct Service staff in your family’s prayers: Emergency Assistance Case Managers, Medical Clinic Staff, Food Pantry Managers, Transitional Housing Case Managers, Senior Services Coordinators, and of course our Seasonal Team.

Blessings for good health, and a very Merry Christmas.

Shonda Schaefer