Heartbreaking and Inspirational 2021 Christmas Wish Moments
So many of you gave back this holiday season to give needy families a feeling of hope for the future. Here are some special moments from the 45th season of Christmas Wish.
The 45th Christmas Wish season wrapped up on Christmas Eve, so now let's take a look back at the most heart-breaking and inspirational moments. There were so many highs and lows as so many were struggling just to get by. It was a year of heartache for many of our Kentucky neighbors. We were just happy to make a small difference in their lives. We couldn't do it without all of you and your generosity!
Here's a snapshot of some special moments from the 2021 Christmas Wish season.
Friday, December 10th, 2021 started as a day like any other until severe weather caused catastrophic damage across Western Kentucky. By now, you've seen the eerie videos of the massive tornados that swept through neighboring towns that have been posted on social media. Pictures of the aftermath are heartbreaking.
In the days following the tragedy, we pulled all wish letters that were in the path of the storm. We wanted to check on the families, assess their needs, and help them in any way that we could. Many families lost their homes and everything that they've ever owned. It was painful to hear, but also inspirational. We heard stories of survival, resilience, and hope. We talked to many who were still in shock and just wanted Christmas for their families. We took care of that, but we plan to check in on them after the first of the year to see how they're recovering.
One beautiful family had just delivered twins at the time that they wrote their wish letter in November. The babies were delivered early and they would be spending some time in the hospital. They only asked for two cribs for the babies which we planned on getting for them. Then the tornado swept through their town and destroyed their home and belongings. The family was praying that their babies would be okay, and now this happened. We will get those cribs when they have a home to come back to and we'll be praying for their family. As we continue to pray for all tornado victims.
Owensboro Grain has always been a HUGE supporter of Christmas Wish. Tim Harley was the loudest voice championing the cause. Then he was diagnosed in September 2019 with Glioblastoma and lost his hard-fought battle on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
I had the chance to talk to Jane, his wife, back in December of 2020. She shared this about Tim and his passion for the cause. "Timmy has always been a supporter of Christmas Wish. He has a huge heart and always did what he could to help people out. He puts others before himself, and giving back to the community means a lot to him. He never wanted anyone to go without. He feels fortunate to have been blessed enough to be able to do so throughout the years."
It was a beautiful and tough morning when they showed up at the Christmas Wish headquarters to present the check this season. Not only did the guys from Owensboro Grain stop by, but Tim's amazing family did as well. His beautiful wife Jane, along with his son Blake and daughter Meredith. There wasn't a dry eye in the place when Blake spoke about his Dad and his giving spirit. The huge donation set an Owensboro Grain record. It was presented in his name. For everyone that gave, we can't thank you enough. Tim is looking down, and I'm sure he is so proud of his family and his Owensboro Grain family too.
We received a wish letter early in November and a father was in the hospital battling COVID. We called a couple of weeks later to confirm their information and the father had passed away. We also called a family for pick up and the person requesting help had passed away leaving a family destroyed. There is a teen who's battling cancer and only wanted a PS4, which we couldn't find anywhere in town. Luckily, the call was answered by Taygan Mitchell, who is just 15 years old. He gave up his console and games to make someone else's Christmas brighter. The letters were sadder this year than in any other year that I can remember. There's a lot of heartbreak and sadness with so many families. We're just glad to have helped in any way that we could.
It made my heart smile when Florence walked into the Christmas Wish Office again this year. Florence crochets and knits 365 days a year for Christmas Wish. She has one goal in mind. To help needy families in the tri-state. She had health struggles this year and still soldiered on. We truly look forward to seeing Florence and her beautiful family every year at the Christmas Wish headquarters!
It was an incredible day when Lisa McFarland and her husband Steve stopped by Christmas Wish to see when they could drop off some toys to donate to Christmas Wish. They mentioned that they had a LOT of toys to give. I thought to myself, is it a LOT like how I buy for Christmas Wish or a trunk full of donations. We couldn't wait until that day to find out. When the delivery day came, up pulled a large work van, three cars, and many festive people! I couldn't believe my eyes when they started pulling out all the toys and other donations.
Owensboro, Kentucky Family Helps Brighton the Season For Families in Need
There were so many stories and events to share from the 45th season of Christmas Wish. Just know that we'll be thinking of you and praying for your family. Let's hope that 2022 only brings joy to your life. Thanks to SO many of you that brought joy to the lives of needy families through giving. #blessing