Adopt A Family Story

“Mom, will Santa come to our house this year?”  Sam Smith asked in the small , raspy voice that was so familiar to his mother, Tamara.

Her chest tightened and her eyes began to burn, threatening to tear up as they had so many times before.  “Oh, baby, I sure hope he does…I sure hope he does.”

Tamara said another of countless silent prayers she had begun to say since last March.  Sam’s dad had lost his job, child support had dried up and now she just didn’t know if any of her five children would have a gift under the tree this year.  It was hard enough to keep the heat going, let alone keep food on the table.  Christmas might not happen this year in the Smith house.

little girl with stuffed animal

As the phone rang that frosty December evening, the stampede of tiny feet raced down the stairs.  Tamara answered before anyone else could reach the phone that sat next to the kitchen table.  “Hello?”

Her children dispersed as she listened to the caller.  Fiddling with the peeling Formica on the tabletop, she began to register what the caller was telling her.

“We got your name from Volunteers of America and we have your Christmas list.  When would be a good time for us to drop off the packages?”

“The packages?” Tamara’s heart was pounding now, her ears were beginning to ring.  “Well, whenever you want too…”  her hands began to shake “ I’ll be here all day…” now the tears began to flow. “ O Lord, I’ll be here anytime you want me to be here!”

As the conversation came to and end, Tamara slowly pressed “end” and set the phone on the table.  She looked at her five beautiful children, now fully engaged in a frenzied game of dance party in the living room.  Tamara’s heart felt lighter than it had since the Christmas songs started playing in the stores.  She let the tears stream down her face as she began to laugh and walked to the living room to dance with the children.  “Santa is coming this year, Sam.  He really is coming!”

This year, our goal is to give the magic of Christmas to over 4,000 families through the Volunteers of America Michigan Adopt-A-Family program.  This will only be possible with the generous support of you, our donors, our “Santas”.

Learn More about how to Adopt A Family!