Youth Villages stories

Youth Villages staff share stories from families helped by Holiday Heroes in New England

Jan 13, 2017

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, Youth Villages fulfilled the holiday wishes of more than 400 youth in need from approximately 150 families participating in our New England programs.

View a photo gallery featuring event photos, volunteer testimonials and thank-you notes from our children and families.

Several specialists who work with youth and their families, across Youth Villages programs, shared some heartwarming stories about how the gifts from Holiday Heroes made a difference this holiday season.

I have been working with a young family with two little boys and in the fall we realized that the family was struggling financially and Mom was going to need to spend some time receiving more intensive mental health treatment. I submitted this family for Holiday Heroes and when I picked up the gifts for the two little boys, I was in shock! Not only did they get nice winter clothes, but they got toys, cars, and a train set. I successfully snuck the gifts into the home and Mom and step-Dad were just blown away. Mom was bursting with gratitude and amazement. She explained that with two young boys the magic of Santa and Christmas is present after Halloween. Without our help, she was afraid that her boys would lose that magic too early. Thank you to everyone that donated to Holiday Heroes and support this family and the many other families we serve! – Shannon Dailey, Masters Level Clinician

For most of the young adults in YVLifeSet the holidays are a difficult time. Many of our young adults struggle to meet basic needs and spend any money they may receive on rent, food or transportation. Holiday Heroes is able to provide a nice winter coat and boots, or kitchen supplies, or just a gift card to their favorite store. For these young people, these items go a long way. I want to thank people that donated gift cards, which might seem like an impersonal gift, but to our young adults it gives them the opportunity to treat themselves at their favorite stores and feel special during holiday season. Thank you for your generous support of the young adults in the YVLifeSet program. – Andrea Anton, YVLifeSet Regional Supervisor

This year we had a family that refused to be supported by Holiday Heroes despite their need for support. The father was able to regain custody of one son who was in a residential facility. He has been working on regaining custody of his other two children after a difficult custody battle. He expressed that there are other families that would need the Holiday Heroes support more than his family. After we received the first round of requests for gifts, we realized we had more items available. We went back to the father and explained that there was still the opportunity for his family to receive the support of Holiday Heroes. He conceded. Holiday Heroes was able to support the three children, who were all home with their father on Christmas day. Thank you to all of the donors that take the time to support these families and provide support. This family benefitted from the clothes and gifts. We are so grateful that they were able to have this opportunity. – Katelyn Leary, Clinical Supervisor