#EdenGivesBack - Christmas 2012 - Lillie Lovely's Adopted Family

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Christmas should always be a happy time of year, but sometimes there are barriers that can keep a family from rejoicing and being merry. The family I have chosen to adopt for the Eden Gives Back project is a family who has hit many barriers over the past year.

The father of this family has been struggling with his construction company for the past couple of years. Finally, this year it failed. He has been out of work for a few months now and the bills had been stacking up. The mother had been on medical leave for a few weeks and was in and out of the hospital. They have been struggling to support their 4 children, including a set of twins. One of the twins is Autistic and constantly has to travel to OT and medical appointments. On November 8th, 2012 the mother passed away.

The grandmother has been helping in any way possible including paying household bills and rent, as well as taking care of the children and their father in this difficult time. Her biggest fear right now is that her finances are running out and she will not be able to help for much longer, let alone think about Christmas. She told me about how the mother always made a big deal about Christmas, and with this being the most difficult time in the family’s lives; she wants to make it good for them. Even if it just takes their mind of their pain for a day.

My sister passed away last year on Dec. 3rd. And I can't put into words how difficult it was for her 3 children to have their first Christmas without her. So when Grandmother told me what was happening, I just had to get involved. And with the Eden Gives Back project, we will be able to provide a Christmas to this family that is in such a dark place right now.

I have been talking to the grandmother every few days and we thought that a Christmas surprise would be best for the whole family. So she has not told the children, or the father. She said that he needs a Christmas miracle as much as they do. I have been provided with a list of items for each person; including a list of 'needs' including socks, underwear and winter gear. Here is a breakdown of each one.

Father - 37, Needs a winter coat and socks. He enjoys sports items (shirts, mugs etc.) and fishing gear.

Girl 1 - 10, Needs socks and underwear and enjoys jewelry making kits, music posters and Smithsonian science project kits.

Boy 1 - 7, Needs snow gear and long sleeve shirts. He enjoys nonviolent video games as well as art supplies and craft painting kits (he paints models for his brother).

Boy 2 - 7, He needs long sleeve shirts and snow gear as well and like when they match his brother's. He has preschool level interests for most things, like character flash lights and anything else that lights up, and picture books. He has an amazing talent of building model airplane, train and car kits and enjoys when his brother paints them for him. He spends a good portion of his days on these projects.

Girl 2 - 2 1/2, Needs Disney character PJs (she won’t wear anything else!) and socks. She is interested in baby dolls, strollers and any other baby accessory. She also loves stuffed animals that sing and anything sesame street.

Although the Grandmother is not in the household, I think it would be nice to get her a gift card or something for everything she has done. I know she enjoys Applebee’s restaurant, bath and body works and shopping at Wal-Mart. She has also volunteered to go shopping with me to ensure that I am able to get the things that are exactly right for this family. Including some day to day items that they can always use including bathroom items and cleaning items.

I am so excited to be a part of the Eden community and to be able to volunteer with Eden Gives Back. Because of Eden, this family, and many others will be able to provide a better Christmas morning for their children. Thank you everyone for your help!
12/04/2012
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Ansley Ansley
Thank you so much for volunteering!!!
12/04/2012
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Thank you so much for volunteering!!!
Thank you for letting me be a part of Eden Gives Back. It is truly an honor.
12/04/2012
Kindred Kindred
Thank you so much for doing this! It warms my heart.
12/04/2012
no longer here no longer here
Thanks so much...this is so sad...and yet wonderful that we will be helping through you. Awesome!
12/04/2012
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
It is so awesome that you have the grandmother to work so closely with. This should make it into such a personal, truly heartwarming experience for this family.

So proud that you've taken this on and that we, as a community, can make it happen!
12/04/2012
Sammi Sammi
Thank you for doing this!
12/04/2012
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
It is so awesome that you have the grandmother to work so closely with. This should make it into such a personal, truly heartwarming experience for this family.

So proud that you've taken this on and that we, as a community, can make it happen!
Honestly I feel so wonderful working with her. Especially knowing that I wont be shopping blind for them.

Thank you everyone, this really does make me so happy. This family has been through the worst this year. And I am pleased that together we can help.
12/05/2012
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So far we have gotten all the winter gear for the whole family. We got everything at great prices so we still have over $300 left for the gifts, groceries and household items.

I am finding myself at a loss for what video games to get one of the twins. If anyone could give me some pointers on good game titles I would be forever greatful. This is one of the things that the Grandmother has a hard time picking out as well so we kind of need some help! He is allowed to play non-violent games on xbox and playstation (the 2nd one I believe). He is allowed to play "fighting" games but nothing that shows blood and gore. So something like wrestling games are ok but the mortal combat type are out. Though he is only 7 he is somewhat beyond the 7 year old disney type phase. He likes racing games and ones that have mazes and test his brain. Any ideas?

Also, for the other twin. I have found lots of places with model sets. But they seem to always be between 30 and 50 for even the least expensive ones. Does anyone know of places to get them for a little less so I can get a few of them?
12/10/2012
unfulfilled unfulfilled
Thank you for what you are doing for this family.
12/11/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by XxXxX
So far we have gotten all the winter gear for the whole family. We got everything at great prices so we still have over $300 left for the gifts, groceries and household items.

I am finding myself at a loss for what video games to get one of ... More
Portal or Portal 2 would be good for him.

Go to gamespot.com and you can browse titles for him. The Lego games are a ton of fun.
12/11/2012
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Portal or Portal 2 would be good for him.

Go to gamespot.com and you can browse titles for him. The Lego games are a ton of fun.
Thank you so much. Portal 2 is perfect and I just ordered it online! Also, I agree with the lego games. There are 2 that I found at walmart today at a fairly low price.

Thanks!!
12/11/2012
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Quote:
Originally posted by unfulfilled
Thank you for what you are doing for this family.
Thank you It is truly my pleasure. It makes me feel wonderful to represent Eden with this family.
12/11/2012
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So far I have managed to get all the winter gear, needed clothing, household products and quite a few toys for the family. The Grandmother has scheduled a day this week to go to finish up the toys that I was just not that sure about. I will be uploading pictures and lists of all the gifts that Eden has provided for this family so keep watch!

I am trully amazed at how well it is all working out. Usually with my family I am just going into a store and buying up whatever is on the list regardless of price. I pretty much know what I am getting myself into when I put it on the list and if we cant afford it, it just doesn't go on the list. I am pretty much doing the same with the shopping for this family, except I have been hitting multiple stores and price comparing which is working out wonderful! With all the money I am saving to get more things, I might actually start doing this with my family shopping as well!

We have spent about 75% of the Christmas money on shopping and still have a few things to get, but I was able to add a couple hundred into the mix, and instead of the Grandmother buying the few toys she had planned on buying, she just tossed what money she had into the kitty as well and we are getting everything together.

I have also managed to get a 3 gift cards for the family. $100 grocery card, $50 Walmart card and and a $50 Walgreens card (to cover the sons prescription co-pays for a while).

Stay tuned for a list of everything we were able to provide!
12/17/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by XxXxX
So far I have managed to get all the winter gear, needed clothing, household products and quite a few toys for the family. The Grandmother has scheduled a day this week to go to finish up the toys that I was just not that sure about. I will be ... More
I have also managed to get a 3 gift cards for the family. $100 grocery card, $50 Walmart card and and a $50 Walgreens card (to cover the sons prescription co-pays for a while).

How fabulous!!! No doubt that will be greatly appreciated. I just can't stop smiling at all of the awesome created by you and our fellow community members!
12/20/2012
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Grandmother and I will be sneaking in on Christmas Eve day while they are away at a family dinner to stock up the Christmas tree and the cupboards! I am super psyched about this part.. its going to be so much fun playing santa! We are going to snap some pictures of the tree and all of their Christmas gifts together for everyone to see! ( I may need some help uploading photos, it never seems to work out for me)

So far these kids have made out quite well, and I still have a few things to get. We have found an AWESOME Christmas deals in NH which is just a couple hours drive and we will be taking advantage. Also, the gift card trio that I got for them was "a very merry gift set" that can be purchase for a big discount and if I have some money left over I am going to try to get another set. I also got Grandmother a gift card to Bath and Body works for 25$ and a few sets of candles. I actually am obsessed with these candles and buy them for everyone. They are Diamond Candles and every candle comes with a diamond ring inside. They are my any occation gift lol.

I have also managed to set aside enough money to stock their cupboards for a little while with basic canned goods and a meat order that I preordered at a discount and will be picking up on the 23rd. And also signed them up for a Christmas ham basket with a local church. The biggest thing I am trying to do at this exact moment is get a gift certificate for the electric company, which I know they have done before (my mother got me one about 5 years ago), OR get my sneaky, ninja-like hands on his electricity account number. If I can do this, the church has agreed to MATCH whatever amount I can put towards it. So for the passed couple days I have been returning my recyclables and taking all of our outgrown clothes and toys (not that kind of toy ) to a 2nd hand shop and collecting pennies to try and get as much as possible.

Keep smiling and look forward to some pictures soon.
12/20/2012
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
It just amazes me that you got so much done for this family! What an incredible job you did!
12/26/2012
Gracie Gracie
Thank you for all the time and care you spent on this project! Thanks for sharing all the details! It makes me feel honored to have played a small part! It is amazing that when we all give a little we can make a big difference!
01/02/2013
Total posts: 18
Unique posters: 8