Making Christmas Dreams Come True
People often use the phrase “like a kid at Christmas” when describing their excitement level. It makes perfect sense, really. When I hear it, my mind instantly thinks of happy, smiling children amongst a pile of torn wrapping paper. Of families gathered in a living room with a beautifully decorated tree in the corner. I imagine parents sitting by the fire, a soft smile on their lips as the sounds of laughter swirl around the room.
Unfortunately, this type of festive image is not the reality for many families.
The kids currently residing at Four Oaks in Mason City will endure a different kind of Christmas. There are no families gathered together. No excitement or laughter on Christmas morning. They’ve been separated from their family, often neglected, or even abused. Instead of a house filled with love and warmth, they only know one of chaos and heartbreak.
And while the ultimate goal is to get kids back with their families for the holidays, sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.
To ensure those kiddos waking up at Four Oaks on Christmas morning experience some magic, Jane Fischer and her helpers have made it their mission to provide them with gifts each year. Their goal is to bring smiles filled with warmth and happiness to those kids who are alone this Christmas.
Eighteen years ago, Jane became integrated with this special gift giving idea at Four Oaks. Before long she took over the project, leading the charge for donations to ensure each child would have something to open Christmas morning. As the years progressed, so did her passion to organize the best experience for these children.
By partnering with Cargill, they are able to provide a pizza party for the entire facility on Christmas Eve. The kids get to enjoy the cheesy Italian treat as a preface before the full feast of Christmas fixings the following day.
And while these kids would be thankful beyond measure for just the amazing food, the giving doesn’t end there.
Each child who spends Christmas in the Four Oaks facility wakes up to a fulfilled wish list of gifts.
Just for them.
Some of them could only dream of ever receiving such gifts on Christmas morning. In fact, for many, it is their first experience with such wonder and excitement.
Jane provides every occupant at Four Oaks with a new pair of pajamas and a warm blanket. From there, she and her team works closely with the staff at Four Oaks to procure wish lists from each person. The items are loaded into a website where people can easily choose which ones they want to buy.
With just a point and a click, your item will be accounted for and marked off the list.
And then – SHOP!
Some of the items are fun, reflecting the personality of the kids. But many are more of a need than a want. Their lists consist of things like shoes, socks and underwear. This year, as one of the children is currently 17 and will be on their own soon, they have listed simple household items to help them prepare for their own apartment.
Not Xboxes or Playstation gaming systems.
Every year I have participated in Jane’s giving for these kids has been a rewarding, fulfilling experience for both me and my children. Growing up in a loving home where each Christmas provides them an abundance of gifts under the tree, I want my kids to understand the importance of helping others.
About giving back and showing love to those in need.
That’s what Jane Fischer and her friends and clients are doing for these kids at Four Oaks.
And the best part? Anyone can sign up to donate items!
Not a shopper? That’s no problem. You can make a monetary donation and Jane will do the shopping for you. Whatever form you fancy is accepted: Cash dropped at the office, checks dropped or mailed (1002 E State St Suite B) or you can Venmo: @Jane-Fischer-19.
“Like a kid on Christmas morning” takes on a whole new meaning when these kids get to open presents and partake in a safe, happy experience, creating a lasting memory for years to come.
Let’s help spread the love this Christmas season for the kids at Four Oaks.