The power of kindnessMom and Neighbors are gearing up for their 2012 Holiday Celebration of Giving
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
For the last three years Moms and Neighbors has held a Christmas giving event. The group has gotten anonymous referrals of families in need in School District 196 and the group has provided gifts.
For its 2012 Holiday Celebration of Giving, group member Sara Haugland said Moms and Neighbors has two goals: help more families and get more of the community involved in the initiative. This year the group hopes to provide gifts for 12 families and 16 teenagers.
While it may seem odd for individual teens to get gifts, Haugland said the idea came from school counselors who commented that there were a number of teens that did not receive gifts. Haugland said she was surprised at the basic nature of some of the requests the group received from teens.
“Some of the girls asked for bras,” said Haugland.
The recipients of the gifts are referred to Moms and Neighbors by various advocates in the community, including school counselors and local pastors. Last year Moms and Neighbors collected gifts for eight families and five teens.
The families and teens are kept anonymous but the group receives some basic information – gender, age and likes and dislikes — to help them shop for gifts. Haugland said they aim to provide each person three or four gifts. Last year Moms and Neighbors collected 190 gifts for families.
Moms and Neighbors member JoAnn Cochran said seeing all the gifts was shocking but heartwarming.
“The thing I love about Moms and Neighbors is it shows strangers care,” said Cochran.
As the group prepares for this year, Haugland said they want to involve more people from the community. Already, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have volunteered to help wrap gifts.
Some basic items the group needs include gift cards to local grocery stores and restaurants; new blankets; new hats; and gloves and mittens in all sizes and colors. Haugland said every little bit helps and will make a big difference in someone’s life.
“We’re all about the power of kindness,” said Haugland.
Moms and Neighbors started collecting gifts Nov.5 and will continue to take donations through Dec. 13. People can donate by dropping off non-wrapped items at Hiltop Family Chiropractic in Eagan, the Red Pine Elementary School main office and Wise Swim School in Apple Valley. Items for a family’s wish list should be labeled.
To join the 2012 Holiday Celebration of Giving and to donate items to fill families wish lists email your full name or organization name to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Haugland said the group will hold an event to wrap all the gifts.
All the wrapped and labeled gifts will be delivered to the designated school or church advocates to get them to the families the week before Christmas.