The holidays are a time when we come together to celebrate the season, exchange gifts and share special meals. While it’s true the holiday season is about spending time with family and friends, it’s also about the spirit of giving to others.
With all the celebration it can be easy to overlook the fact that for some, the holidays can be very difficult to navigate. Common holiday traditions are not realistic for families living in poverty. There simply isn’t enough money for special family meals or gifts for the kids when paying rent is the priority. The added pressure of missed wages from time off work and the cost of child care during winter break can make the holidays a stressful time.
Currently, over 3,600 children and their families are living in poverty right here in Bellevue. That’s one in five kids enrolled in the Bellevue School District that are experiencing hardships like homelessness and food insecurity. Bellevue LifeSpring’s Holiday Adopt-A-Family ™ program matches families in need with community sponsors to ease the burden of holiday expenses by providing food for the holidays and winter break and gifts for children to make their holiday wishes come true.
Lillian and her three children are one example of a family you could help this holiday season. Lillian’s family found Bellevue LifeSpring when they were fleeing her abusive husband. Currently living in a transitional domestic violence shelter, Lillian is also working hard to complete her business administration degree at Bellevue College. She is a single mother providing for her family on her own.
Lillian’s oldest daughter is very personable and the life of the party, even though she’s only in third grade. Her son loves any sport of game and has the energy to play them all! Her youngest, a toddler, looks up to her older siblings and tries to mimic everything they do. These children would love holiday gifts their mom can’t afford, like a kitchen play set, a soccer ball and a purple rain jacket. Simple items like this would make their holidays bright and allow Lillian to focus on the next steps toward their future.
Living in a shelter and surviving domestic violence are not the only obstacles Lillian is overcoming. One of her kids suffers from a muscular disorder. Their current living situation and medical needs makes life difficult and stressful for Lillian to manage. Lillian shared that if it wasn’t for Holiday Adopt-A-Family, her family wouldn’t be celebrating the holidays this year. Now she is at ease knowing that they have something to look forward to and she can’t wait to see the smiles on her children’s faces.
You can help spread holiday cheer and make a difference for families like Lillian’s. To adopt a family this Christmas, download a sponsorship signup form or call 425-451-1175 for more information.