The hope that they gave to my family was undeniable. I was diagnosed October 30th, so with Christmas around the corner and three young children, I’m thinking “I can get them a matchbox car,” but Christmas was the furthest thing from my mind. On Christmas morning, my children woke up and the people from Interfaith delivered a Christmas dinner and gifts beyond.
I volunteered when I could. At Christmas they asked me to sort the Christmas toys that they had. I couldn’t believe the goodness of these people that donated these toys. It took me all day and part of the next.
Susquehanna County Interfaith's Christmas Bureau has three parts:
The first is a personalized holiday assistance program in which an individual sponsor or group sponsor purchases new clothing and toys for a deserving child from a family facing hardship. For many of our registered children, the gifts they receive through the Christmas Bureau Program will be the only ones they open on Christmas morning. Susquehanna County residents join together to make the Christmas Bureau possible by giving their time and resources. A lot of work goes into organizing and sorting the gifts and it would not be possible without the communities help. The Kiwanis Club, Cabot Oil & Gas, and numerous other community organizations and members do a wonderful job of collecting toys and clothing for this program.
The second part is the food bag. Christmas can be more stressful than joyful when the budget is tight. Interfaith provides families, seniors, and singles a bag of food for the holiday meal which includes a nice ham, with the hope of helping ease the burden and make the holiday brighter.
The third part of Christmas Bureau is called "adopt a family." When the family is experiencing an especially difficult time, businesses, churches and individuals offer to buy everyone in the family gifts. As part of the program, those who adopt are given an extensive list of items that each member of the family would like. Often, this is the only time that mom and dad receive a gift for themselves. This is a wonderful opportunity to share hope and help for the entire family.