Youth Villages stories

two youth posing with Santa and his elf at a Holiday Heroes Christmas party

Holiday Heroes provides gifts, gives hope for West Tennessee children, families

Jan 17, 2024 | Blog

Being a Holiday Hero means more than just giving gifts; it is giving the gift of hope to the young people and families we serve every day. For many of the youth in our care, the act of being a Holiday Hero allows them to find joy, love and hope during the holiday season. It is a time to show them that others care for them, no matter what trauma or heartache they have had to overcome.

One youth in residential care shared what Holiday Heroes meant to them: “Thank you for being here for me. If I wasn’t at Youth Villages, I probably wouldn’t have anything. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas!”

The annual Youth Villages Holiday Heroes campaign, presented by Strategic Online Systems, allows kids to experience all the joy that the holiday season brings. Through our 2023 Holiday Heroes, supporters raised more than $96,000 and provided gifts for 1,645 children in Youth Villages’ care throughout West Tennessee.

The team at C.H. Robinson Memphis made our holiday season sparkle as Christmas Day sponsors, shoppers and volunteers. C.H. Robinson had so much volunteer holding a wrapped present at company Holiday Heroes wrapping partyholiday spirit that they helped fulfill 50 wish lists and joined us for a day of volunteering in our Holiday Heroes workshop where they helped label, wrap and prepare gifts for delivery. We are so grateful for our Holiday Heroes at C.H. Robinson.

Macy’s Wolfchase joined our Holiday Heroes efforts by sharing the magic of the season with LifeSet young adults and their dependents. To make this happen, Marti Williams, Macy’s store manager, applied for a grant our behalf. Youth Villages was awarded $2,500 in Macy’s gift cards to be used in-store by our youth. On Dec. 3, Macy’s opened its doors early and hosted a private shopping event. Employees volunteered their time to help six LifeSet youth and their seven children — ranging in ages from 3 months to 4 years old — shop for clothing, shoes and, of course, toys on their wish lists. The LifeSet youth had both disbelief and joy on their faces when they arrived at the store and the event’s details were announced.

The event positively impacted both the families and Macy’s team members. The Wolfchase store also hosted a round-up at the register event in late October and a toy drive with employees and store shoppers in November. We are thankful for this growing partnership with Macy’s.

We are thrilled to work with Youth Villages this year. It has been an incredible opportunity for Macy’s to give back to our community and see our colleagues give back in a meaningful way through various volunteer events.
- Marti Williams

“I’m super proud of the $2,500 grant that allowed us to host seven families and give them the opportunity to shop for their Christmas lists. We also had a colleague toy drive to donate to Holiday Heroes and hosted the Youth Villages staff to make a child’s Christmas magical. Thank you, Youth Villages, for making an IMPACT in our community!”

young toddler and his father at Toys R UsIt is heartwarming to see the children and young people we serve experience the joy of the holiday season. No matter how big or how small, these acts of kindnessfrom our Holiday Heroes have a lasting impact on the lives of the young people we serve. These precious memories are ones they will never forget, and we could not have made this happen without your support. Thank you for being our Holiday Heroes.

A youth in our residential care shared this following one of our Holiday Heroes celebrations: “Having this be the first Christmas away from my family, this is a very difficult time. Thank you for helping me have a better outlook this Christmas. You are amazing and a blessing.”

Thank you to our 2023 Holiday Heroes Sponsors

Presented by Strategic Online Systems

C.H. Robinson

Konica Minolta

Memphis Pride Allstar Cheer & Dance 

Lenox Office Park

CTD Staffing, LLC

Kele, Inc.


McDonald’s (Jeffers and Blaszczyk families)

Evolve Bank & Trust

Southern Security 

Triumph Auto Sales

AMFAS International

Arch Medical Solutions

Christian Brothers High School

Bartlett Kiwanis Group 


Ticket to Dream Foundation 

Corporate Shopping Partners 20+

Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce (83)

Centerline Business Services/ SouthWorth Capital Management (65)

C.H. Robinson (50)

KPMG (22)

Neshoba Church (20)

nexAir (30)

Nike (50)

Southern Security (20)

University of Memphis Athletics (68)


Thank you to our 21 corporate shopping partners that fulfilled 10 or more wish lists for youth in our care.

Thank you to our 12 toy drive partners for helping us fulfill wish lists for youth in our care.

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