The Impact of Gifts from the Heart
A conversation with Community Services Supervisor Shannon Heide Livingston of The Children’s Shelter.
When putting their lists together, I always tell our families to be very specific: If a kid wants a trip to the moon, somebody at Corpus Christi will go out and try to find a trip to the moon. You are very conscientious to get the exact right thing — we’ve seen that over the years.
"I got a text from a parent that said, ‘We couldn’t have had Christmas without this. You guys made Christmas for us.’
"A lot of our foster families aren’t totally reliant on it (donated Christmas gifts), but it’s one less thing they have to worry about during the Christmas season. A lot of kids in foster care struggle during holidays and during special occasions throughout the year. This allows foster parents to focus on being good parents and making sure the kids have everything else that they need instead of going out and buying gifts.
"I don’t want to say that we’ve come to rely on Corpus, but you all have come to be such a huge part of what we do. All of the families appreciate it so much.
"One of the dads said this year their mother was no longer in his family’s lives, so having a ‘normal’ experience of being able to open some gifts was a familiar thing on the holiday, and that allowed them to have some normalcy and get past the day.
"So many families struggle with meeting their daily needs — especially given all of the negative impacts of Covid. The special things, the extra things like Christmas gifts, those are things that all kids should have — they all go to school and talk about what they got for Christmas — it gives kids who might not otherwise have that, the opportunity to have what all other children are having. It allows them to have a good memory of Christmas, that it was a happy time."
- Shannon Heide Livingston, Community Services Supervisor, The Children’s Shelter