|One family found it truly is better to give than receive at the Child Advocacy Center’s Secret Santa.
Loven and Margaret Hall said they chose the Child Advocacy Center’s program when their family wanted to sponsor a needy family for the holidays, because of their daughter.
“We were looking for an Angel Tree Family or someone to help at Christmas. We have been blessed this year and wanted to share with someone less fortunate,” the Halls said. And their daughter Devin had an internship at the CAC through MTSU.
“Devin told us that there were families at the CAC who were in need,” Hall explained. “I was happy to get a specific list. We had the best time for shopping for ‘our’ family and feel like we have a new daughter and grandchild.”
On Friday afternoon, Dec. 14, the families serviced by the CAC began picking up the gifts, donated by giving families like the Halls.
“The Child Advocacy Center came alive with the true spirit of the holiday season on Friday,” CAC Executive Director Sharon De Boer said. “After the sponsors delivered the gifts, the Child Advocacy Center looked like Santa’s workshop filled with presents for needy families.”
There were hugs, laughter, and tears of joy as the parents and grandparents thanked Family Services Coordinator Jennifer Gamble and Cannon County Coordinator Lemuel White.
And the families the CAC serves need laughter and joy, because the nonprofit provides support for families and victims of child sexual abuse by both helping in law enforcement investigations and giving continuing services and counseling after the abuse is uncovered.
“The holidays are a particularly stressful time of year for many of the needy families we serve at the Child Advocacy Center,” De Boer said, “It is such a great feeling for our staff and volunteers knowing that all these families are going to celebrate a wonderful Christmas. We are very grateful to all of the Secret Santa’s who have made children’s Christmas wishes come true this holiday season.”
One of the mothers had tears in her eyes when she picked up the gifts for her children.
“We were not going to have a Christmas this year,” she told Gamble, “but, because of our wonderful sponsor my children will experience the magic and wonder of the Christmas spirit. The sponsors have provided more than gifts, they have given my children and I good memories to treasure forever.”
It’s not too late to get involved and help child abuse victims during the holidays. For information on how you can get involved, contact the Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County at 867-9000 or the Cannon County Child Advocacy Center at 615-563-9915.