A Little Christmas Magic

Stuffed Stockings for Struggling Kids

The joy of Christmas morning is a fond childhood memory for many people. There is nothing quite like the excitement of waking up to discover that Santa had come in the night to leave presents and, of course, a full stocking.

During the holiday season, many of the kids in our programs here at Volunteers of America are reminded that they have no one to fill their stockings, and a time that should be filled with joy weighs heavy on their hearts.

They are the children who did not have someone there every Christmas to remind them that they are loved. They are the children of abuse, neglect, and instability.

They are the children who need Christmas joy the most.

This year, our generous donors went above and beyond to fill a stocking for each of the young people in our programs.

For our Independent Living clients, this was particularly impactful. They are youth aged 14-21 who have experienced incarceration, treatment, homelessness, or a lack of family support. They are legally adults and are expected to behave like adults, but they never had anyone to teach them the necessary skills or, perhaps more importantly, to care for them as they transitioned out of childhood.

Having someone who cared enough to fill their stocking was a new experience for many, and they wanted to thank the donors who went out of their way to make Christmas special for someone they didn’t even know. Pictured above are some of the notes written by Independent Living clients, a powerful reminder that young people need more than life skills to be successful; they need the support of a community and a caring soul to let them know that they are loved.

The Independent Living program is funded entirely by exactly that – our community and the caring souls within it. Thank you for making Christmas special for the youth who need it most.

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