A couple of weeks ago we decided to help local families by providing them with holiday dinners they could not otherwise afford. Our students and staff stepped up and raised enough funds to supply dinners to 5 families… We decided to take the gift further. We invited the families to come in for mini-makeovers and take a holiday photo for them.
Only 1 family came. A mom with 3 young daughters. They were dressed in beautiful matching dresses mom had gotten them for the occasion. We styled their hair and did their makeup. They looked amazing! As we were finishing up an educator noticed a tag on one the girl’s dresses and offered to cut it off… “we can’t, she said, we have to return the dresses after this, we can’t afford them”
Word got out and the idea was hatched to buy the dresses for the family… we sent out the call to action on our walkies…
A dollar here, a handful of change there… then students asked for their tip envelopes to be donated… Secretly and silently money kept coming…
In 10 minutes our students and staff raised over $500!!!!!!! All out of their own pockets!
We presented the money to the family and asked them to have a wonderful holiday. Mom and daughters cried. She had been working 80 hours a week just to make ends meet… Christmas wasn’t going to happen until now.
We cried together and hugged. The littlest one stood on a chair and said “pat yourselves on the back, you worked hard and now we will have the best Christmas ever!”
I have the best job… I work with the greatest people in the world. And I am beyond grateful for the selfless students that make everything possible.
Blog post by AI South Educator Nadia Thrush
Heartwarming update to the story we recently shared about a beautiful event at AI Nashville…
Today we were visited by the family we were lucky enough to help out this Christmas. They brought homemade cookies for the entire school! We also got lots of hugs!
But the most magical moment was when they shared what they did with their gift… after they took care of their Christmas needs they invited a friend over for a sleepover… another single mom and her kids who are also struggling. And what did they do? They gave her all the money that remained!
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change” – Buddha
** Post From Guest **
This year you gave my family the most INCREDIBLE Christmas EVER! (pictures coming) Thank for that, and thank you for renewing our Christmas Spirit and the feeling of love, compassion faith and community we have been sooooo missing, as we have been struggling the last several months. We were so Blessed to have you in our lives this Holiday season. You have made my daughters and I so sincerely grateful and overwhelmed with joy and happiness. My daughters and I will never forget what you did for us! And just as a tiny token of how much we love all of you, the girls and I baked you ALL Christmas cookies last night and will be dropping them off to you this evening. You are a truly thoughtful, generous, and amazing group of young men and women and I am truly honored to have had you touch my life, and the lives of my sweet daughters in such a beautiful way! I wanted you to see the before and after of what our tree looked like, and also to tell you that through your gift, we gave what was left after our family was taken care of, to another family struggling like ours, so you actually changed the lives of 7 little girls this Christmas!!! Merry Christmas, with all out love and appreciation. Franchesca, Akaileah, Kaitlynn and Elayna Gade!