Thank you for your donations and helping make our Secret Santa project a HUGE success in 2019. We're so excited to share some of the amazing Secret Santa stories!
QUICK SECRET SANTA RECAP
For the past 4 years, we've hosted a project during the holidays we hold near to our hearts called Secret Santa!! It started small, with us just wanting to give back to our amazing community.
It all started in 2016, when we decided to pay for 3 families' Christmases. I am still in contact with these sweet families; they have touched my heart to the core. I feel a special bond and connection with them that will (for lack of a less cheesy term…) stay with me forever. You Freebs were also touched by the stories I shared! Donations, none of which I even asked for, poured in and we were able to help 14 MORE families with your additional donations!
With our amazing audience – that's YOU – our Secret Santa project has grown exponentially!
Each year, we've been able to send a Christmas gift to even more families. This year, we were able to bless the lives of 171 families thanks to your donations! It was such a privilege to be a part of soooo many family's holiday experiences.
Here are some of the recipients who want to say thank you…
My family has always believed in helping those in need. My husband is the type of guy who will pull over and help someone change a tire on the side of the road, even if we're running late. We love to be of service to others. We believe that it's up to each individual to do good and make the world a better place and it's a value we are instilling in our children. To date, we have ‘fostered' five families/individuals at our home. We welcome them to stay with us rent/bill free until they are able to get on their feet. When they are ready to move out, we help them furnish their new home (sometimes partnering with Noah's Home of Hope). It doesn't come without struggle as it's always difficult to live with other people, but the reward of seeing someone move out on their own and live a happy life is absolutely worth it! Not only have we enjoyed seeing others flourish on their own but we have developed deep relationships where we consider these wonderful people our family. We feel truly blessed to contribute in such a positive way. This year, we have hit a rough spot, ourselves. I was laid off in April and my husband, who works for the same company, has had to take a pay cut and get a second job to make ends meet. We have, however, tried to make the best of it and keep looking to the future. I went back to school and am nearly done with my degree. We have done our best not to let these major life changes negatively affect our children. This generous gift from Jordan and everyone at FCF will certainly help us provide them with a merry Christmas! We are eternally grateful for the gift and will continue to pay it forward!The Marchon Family
I am humbled by the thoughts of other people's generosity. I want to say thank you but it doesn't seem to be enough. This year has been very trying, but with the help of my daughter, we've been able to get through it. I couldn't do without her, she's my rock. I haven't had time to really think about what we've went through, but I know I am blessed. God Bless each of you and your team for this gift, it will make Christmas a lot easier. Thank you and Merry Christmas.The Cook Family
Thank you & everyone. You have brought joy & happiness to our family at this time. This picture is our family’s first Thanksgiving at our home with just our family. We were able to have my wife join us for a few hours. It was very enjoyable. Merry Christmas.The Sorensen Family
I cannot thank you enough for doing this for my family. We are so incredibly thankful and I just still can’t even believe it! My husband of 10 years was diagnosed with an extremely rare autoimmune disease that the doctors are not able to treat. Within two weeks of feeling off balance, he became completely wheelchair bound, his speech became slurred and he is not able to control his hand and body movement well. Unfortunately with this disease his cerebellar has started to shrink and will continue to shrink. As it continues to shrink, his symptoms will get worse. At this time they haven’t been able to tell us how long he will live. We have four children ages 5-13 and I am now left taking care of them and my husband on my own. We have very little income coming in ($476 a month) as he can’t work, can’t get social security and I can’t work because I have to take care of him. So this $500 you have given us is such a huge blessing and I can’t even tell you how much it means to me and my family. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.The Howard Family
Thank you, everyone, who helped with the secret Santa. We are the Billings family. We had our son, Atticus, Oct. 17, 2018, at 34 weeks. He finally was able to come home after 19 days in the NICU. We thought we were over the hard part. But on Dec, 18, 2018, he passed away for what they said was SIDS. January, we found out we were pregnant again. We were excited but very scared. It didn't last long, because July 19th I had a placental abruption at 28 weeks. Iris was stillborn. They said it was due to having 4 c sections in 5 years… Then there were four. â¤ We are doing as well as we can, just having a hard time with Atticus death day coming up. Trying to do something great with our girls this Christmas season. Thank you again to everyone. Happy Holidays â¤The Billings Family
We are the Gallagher family from Winder, GA. Our two boys are our entire world. With their needs has come so many challenges & financial strain for our family making sure they have everything they need to live successful lives! When our son Joseph was diagnosed with autism in 2015 we knew we needed to give him every opportunity available to help him through his journey. This meant my husband being the sole breadwinner for our family while I traveled 40 miles one way everyday to take Joseph to a special needs school called Sisu. If you haven’t heard of them please look them up, they are AMAZING & truly a one of a kind school! As many know with special needs babies, insurance tends to not cover certain therapies. We knew as parents, he deserved to be involved with every therapy possible. He worked so hard through the years, he truly became my hero. Fast forward to 2019 Joseph is now 5, he is talking and attending kindergarten with his typical peers! He truly surprises us every single day with his determination to achieve his goals set by his therapists. And is by far the most loving, compassionate little boy. Unfortunately a few weeks ago Joseph went in for a routine ear tube & sinus procedure. During the procedure they found a growth inside his sinus cavity that was not there a few years ago for the same surgery. We are currently in the process of scans & testing to see if this mass can be removed with a simple procedure or something more. This means we will travel into Atlanta at least once a week for his appointments. Our son Lukas who is 8 months old brings us so much JOY! In fact, big brother was the one to tell me I had a baby in my belly & that it was a brother! To our surprise, he was right! Luke’s journey began before he was even born. At 24 weeks pregnant I was in a hit & run accident. A man ran the red light going over 50 mph causing my car to almost flip over. Luckily, I was able to keep control of the car and walked away with some cuts, bruises, & a hip injury! Luke was checked & the doctors said he was perfect! PRAISE GOD! On April 3rd I went into labor, I was scheduled for a c-section on the 9th, so the doctor felt it was ok to deliver that night! He was born weighing in at 7 pounds and 11 oz. He was tiny compared to his big brother! When he came out I knew something was wrong with his breathing, I could see my husbands panic, but could do nothing. It was the most terrifying moments of my life. He was brought into the NICU for treatment where after further testing, they said Lukas was 36 weeks! This shocked us because every date added up correctly on our end & every ultrasound we had he measured right on target! For 12 long, tiring days we watched our boy fight to become stronger. He was finally able to come home & meet his big brother! It was such an amazing moment. Once home I knew something wasn’t right. He had uncontrollable leg shaking, breathing struggles and other signs that just alarmed me as a mom. He was referred to a neurologist who we saw on a regular basis. A few months later the doctor diagnosed our sweet boy with quadriplegia spastic Cerebral Palsy. Again, our world was crushed. That drive home was quiet & full of prayer. He is in therapy and will soon be fitted for leg braces to hopefully help him walk in the future, something the doctors believe will be a struggle for him. But we know we serve a faithful God & he will walk! This blessing means so much to our family & we truly cannot thank you enough. This gift will provide our boys with a Christmas that otherwise may have been hard to achieve this year with everything we have going on. We are so grateful for all of you.The Gallagher Family
A BIG THANK YOU!!!
Our team was so uplifted and moved to tears so many times throughout the process! We are so grateful to be able to participate in such a beautiful project each year.
From all of us to you, thank you for your support! Until next year!