Businesses joining together to bring cheer to children of clients
For a parent, observing the reactions of wonder and excitement as their young children open presents at Christmas time are treasured memories that bring joy for many years to come.
This year, several local business owners and generous community members are collaborating to ensure that families who are spending the holidays at the Soteria House, Logan County’s domestic violence shelter, have the chance to make these priceless memories with their youngsters.
Soteria House Manager Keely Blair said this year, a fund that traditionally had provided for Christmas gifts for children of clients was unavailable. So when local several local businesses learned of this issue, they have stepped up with donation possibilities that are available for the community.
“We couldn’t be more appreciative or more excited,” Blair said. “For our families, the children have been through so much. For them to have the chance to open Christmas presents like they would at home is meaningful to them and brings a sense of normalcy. It is the kids that matter at Christmastime.”
Mandy Benton Osterfeld posted on social media recently that The Fun Company, home of the Education Station, 136 S. Main St., is inviting area residents to purchase gift cards at the store that go directly toward Christmas gifts for the children. The business is doubling any donations made for the shelter.
In addition, J.A. Innovations LLC is conducting a farmhouse dining table fundraiser by selling raffle tickets for the table, beginning from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Native Coffee Co., 200 W. Columbus Ave. The table will be on display after that time at Tanger’s Furniture, 216 W. Columbus Ave., where additional raffle tickets will be sold. Money raised from the raffle will benefit the Soteria House.
Also, Benton Osterfeld and Addy Passaro are hosting a Fleece Navidad Party at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at Homegrown Yoga, 115 N. Main St., for a ticketed event. Participants will be making hand-tied blankets and assembling gift baskets for mothers at the Soteria House. They also are asked to take cozy socks and a bottle of lotion.
Tickets for $25 cover the cost of materials, and are available for purchase through Homegrown Yoga’s Facebook page via eventbrite.com.
Other practical ways that community members can contribute to the shelter for Christmas include through Wal-Mart gift cards and donations of new clothing for children in all sizes. These items can be dropped off at The Fun Company, Native Coffee Co., Tanger’s Furniture or Homegrown Yoga, Benton Osterfeld said. The location of the Soteria House is kept private to protect the safety of the families who reside there.
Blair said from the items that are donated to the shelter, parents will be provided with the toys, clothing and wrapping paper, so that they can have a part in assembling the Christmas gifts for their children.
“It makes that the moms happy that they can play this role. We let them present the gifts to their children,” the house manager said. “Some of the moms tell the kids that Santa made a special delivery.”
Currently, the shelter is serving 19 clients, which includes adults and children. Several non-residential clients, including families who have recently moved out on their own, also will receive Christmas presents through this effort.
Debbie Brownlee, director of New Directions of TCN that operates the Soteria House, said she had “goose bumps from head to toe” when Blair shared with her regarding all of the community collaboration for the shelter’s Christmas.
“I love it when faced with a difficult challenge, wonderful opportunities arise and new connections are made. Kind of when one door closes another opens.”