Our annual Holiday Program matches sponsors with children in need. Through groups, businesses, families, and individuals, sponsors commit to providing for their assigned child (for the holidays) completely. The new, warm clothing, toys, and food not only delight the children for the holidays, but take them through the winter season as well.
Year after year, the holiday program evokes a combination of spirit, generosity, compassion, and gratitude. To know one of these emotions is certainly valuable; to be part of them all is a true experience. With approximately 7000 children in the program this year, you can be sure that we are checking our lists more than twice as we head into the 2017 program.
The numbers of those in need increase at an alarming rate each year. Fortunately, so does the number of those who are willing to help. The information gathering begins mid-summer, and the Holiday Program is up and running at full speed by early fall. We have been graced once again this year with a huge amount of new and returning support from our sponsors who help brighten the Holidays for those we work with.
Sponsors are given whatever information we have for that child, which may include age, sex, first name, clothing and shoe sizes, and special needs or wishes, if any. While the frequently-requested bike or Barbie doll are among the most common wishes, requests by children for items such as food store certificates for their Mom, or a winter coat for themselves or a sibling are always the hardest to comprehend… Such basic needs become priorities to kids who experience "going without" each day of their lives. Our sponsors come through with flying colors, however, and many special wishes have come true because of this kindness and generosity.
Other help comes in many ways. For instance, Packet night involves dozens of volunteers turning out to stuff the thousands of sponsor envelopes. Other volunteers take one or two days out of their lives to help deliver the many, many bags of gifts to the agencies and organizations who pass the treasures along to the families. Delivery Day is an amazing sight, with three semi tractor trailers, 24 twenty-seven foot moving trucks, hundreds of volunteers, and tens of thousands of brightly wrapped gifts!
Over the years, we have endured every mix of weather from sub-zero temperatures to wind, ice, rain, and snow, and every year, the precious cargo has made its destination. The 2002 delivery day was met by the start of what would be 9 inches of snow!
The best part continues to be the faces of those helping, as well as the faces of those receiving the help. We are most grateful to the special and dedicated people responsible for this success. While the importance of meeting the needs of the children and their families goes without saying, meeting our own needs as caring, compassionate people may be the most important gift.
If you have an interest in participating in the 2017 Holiday Program as a group or an individual sponsor, please contact The Delaware Valley Children’s Charity at (610) 344-9311. Should your group or business wish to become involved at a later date, please let us know and we will happily add you to our mailing list for next year’s program.