Last week we shared how the Gift Giving Tree at Goodwin Street Medical Supply is an incredible blessing to our Agape House families. This week, I would like to share how my husband and I were incredibly blessed by the tree.
My husband and I went to Goodwin Street Medical Supply, expecting to take one tag for a toy, quickly shop for the gift, wrap, and return. What we experienced instead was much more emotional.
We found the tree, beautifully decorated in the Goodwin Street Medical Supply. The tree is more than just random names. The tree is divided into entire families. For confidentiality, they named the families ‘Faith’, ‘Hope’, ‘Love’, ‘Joy’, and ‘Blessed’.
Each family on the tree is currently in the Agape House program, a program that teaches the families how to live independently. A program that pours hours, weeks, and months into each family, giving them the tools to succeed. Each of the family members were asked by the Agape House staff to supply five items that they would like for Christmas.
This is where my eyes were first opened wide. The items on the tree were humbling and simple. Items such as socks for a baby, shoes for a six-year-old girl, a jacket for a four-year-old. We weren’t looking at a list of worldly items, we were looking at tags full of items of basic necessities. Basic items that my husband and I take for granted.
When I pull on socks in the morning, and I select from the over-abundant amount of colors, styles, and thicknesses, I am oblivious that there is a young mother in Prescott that doesn’t have socks for her baby. When I select which jacket style will go best with my outfit and which of my shoes will be the best ‘look’, I don’t think about the six-year-old that is jacket-less and their sister who doesn’t have shoes.
The young mother from the ‘Faith’ family has three young children, a 1-year old boy, a 2-year-old girl, and a 6-year-old girl. I love to reminisce about how much fun our Christmas mornings have been over the years with our own three children. Christmas for us has always been incredibly conservative with a strict budget. But we were always able to provide for the family. Christmas for the families on the Giving Tree look quite a bit different.
Each of the Agape House families are dedicated to working toward a life of independence. Weekly they work with Agape House to put their financial, personal, and family life in order with a goal to graduate and live an independent life. These families are working toward educational goals, working to pay off past medical bills, improving career choices, as well as addressing past issues that will affect their future decisions.
Adding to this stress is the overwhelming, and sometimes impossible, task of saving money for Christmas.
My husband and I selected four tags from the giving tree that totaled approximately $50 of gifts. Surprisingly, the bag of items was small. Both my husband and I commented on how defeating that would be for a mother who was excited to have went above and beyond her monthly expenses and saved $50 for Christmas only to have such a small bag of gifts to show for her efforts.
What was even more eye-opening, is that there are still a dozen items for the ‘Faith’ family left on the tree. This means there are still unmet ‘needs’ that this mother would like to have to provide for her family.
If you get the chance, I would strongly encourage you to visit the Gift Giving Tree at the Goodwin Street Medical Supply.
The process is simple… select a name from the tree, shop for the item requested, wrap the gift, and return it to Goodwin Street Medical Supply by December 21st. But I warn you, be prepared to have your own heart blessed.
Goodwin Street Medical Supply
406 W Goodwin Street, Prescott
If you are unable to get a tag from the Gift Giving Tree, you can still change lives by donating to Agape House.