Turkeys, Warm Clothing, Gifts, Oh My!
The Gift of Warm Clothing
During the last months of the year, also known as the holiday season or season of giving, can put a lot of pressure on families. This time of the year can be especially difficult for those who struggle financially, do not have a home to go to or are estranged from their family. The pandemic has also brought about families mourning the loss of loved ones. We know it is important to be sensitive to others’ circumstances at time and offer assistance in whatever way we can.
Winter weather started in October this past year, which meant parents needed to purchase winter gear for their children early. Thanks to the donations provided by our Health and Wellness members and past and current students during our Winter Gear Drive, we were able to provide our early learning students with coats, snow pants, boots and much more. At YWCA Minneapolis Children’s Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, over twenty children were provided with a full set of winter gear (coat, snow pants and boots).
The Gift of a Holiday Meal
In November, the Minnesota Vikings partnered with UnitedHealth Group to offer families in our community a complimentary Thanksgiving meal. The meal included a frozen turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a dessert option and more.
I am very grateful for the help because I did not know what to do for Thanksgiving this year and I was looking at places where I can take my kids because it’s been such a hard year for us. This is heaven sent because now we can have Thanksgiving at home. — Single mom with 2 kids
Thanksgiving we don’t normally get to do because it gets expensive and it’s so close to Christmas time so we just wait until then and who will invite my big family you know that’s a lot of mouths to feed. Well we get to celebrate this year Thanksgiving with this. Thank You! — Mom (family of 10)
I’m the only one working. My husband lost his job so this will help us not just for Thanksgiving but this will last us with food for a few days, maybe a week. It’s a big turkey! — Mom (Family of 5)
I did not expect such a big turkey and with a bag of groceries! I’m going to be able to invite family over. We never expected that we would have such a good Thanksgiving for our family. — Dad (Family of 3)
I am bringing this to my mother to cook for Thanksgiving where we celebrate. She always hosts and we have a big family so this is going to be so helpful to feed our growing family. — Mom of infant
Watch the story of when we picked up the turkeys from the Minnesota Vikings below!
The Gift of Gifts!
In December, YWCA Minneapolis partnered with Delta Dental to get toys for our children. Each child made a paper ornament and wrote their name and one item they requested on the back of the ornament, and our staff passed these along to the team at Delta Dental. Through Delta’s holiday “Give a Smile” Tree/Toy Drive, they gifted 150 children from our Early Childhood Education centers (120 children ages 3 – 5 years old; and 30 children ages 5 – 8 years old) a present!
The Delta Dental staff took pictures and made a project out of it at their staff holiday party. There was a lot of excitement when sorting out the gifts and getting it to our centers in the end, it was a wonderful gift for families.
I was worried about Christmas this year because we got evicted and staying at a hotel. My children would not have had presents to open on Christmas day this year because we are saving our money to use to get a place and I already explained that to my kids so the presents got them really excited. — Mom of 3
Thank you for the gift for my son. He showed me his ornament and how he got what he drew in the snow globe. — Mom of preschool boy
The boys loved their presents! It’s our first Christmas away from family so it made things special. — Mom of 2 preschool boys
“We are so thankful for the gifts for our students! Gift giving day was so memorable at YWCA Abbott,” said center director Michelle Malone. “The children were all so wide eyed and excited when they woke up from their nap and recognized their ornaments on top of presents. They were so proud of their presents and could not wait to take them home. After Christmas, parents and children were raving about how their wish came true.”
There is no better feeling in the world than being able to as a community help each other and we are proud to share that YWCA Minneapolis early learners were able to have a true season of giving in 2022!