Well, the holidays are upon us and Desana's USA group is busy working with the students and families at Kirkpatrick Enhanced Options School (Nashville TN). All of the students at the school are on 'free lunch' and the majority of the families live well below the poverty level. Many are single parent families and several are grandparents raising multiple grandchildren. We are dedicated to helping these children break the bonds of poverty by giving them some of the same opportunities that students in other schools have.
We were able to provide a field trip to the Adventure Science Center for the pre-k classes in October. We also delivered gourds and 36 pumpkins to the classes. The children loved the science center and enjoyed decorating their pumpkins to take home.
With Christmas around the corner, we really need your help. Once again, we will be furnishing Christmas for 20 families; approximately 100 people. These families are not receiving any assistance from other organizations. In the past we have had the chance to meet and deliver gifts to the families and you can only imagine the smiles and excitement we are met with. Last year, a single father and son wanted to show their gratitude by helping us unload the trailer full of gifts and by sorting and delivering. The first year we provided gifts, their requests were for underwear, socks and a gas card so the father could get to work across town. Last year their only request was food. We have developed a relationship with this family and I was met last year by a smiling face and a huge hug. The son was respectful, well mannered and eager to help us. Those who are able are working or trying to find work. They are all dedicated to helping their children succeed. They volunteer at the school, go to church and are trying so hard to put food on the table and clothes on their backs.
Their gift requests are humble:
Socks, underclothes, diapers, shoes, warm clothes, bedding, dishes, cookware, and food. Some may write 'a toy' or 'a doll' for their children. What you don't see are requests for game systems, a particular toy, etc.
We are also providing holiday food boxes for 36 families at the school. These are most appreciated as this is the only way for them to have a special meal. These boxes will include:
Canned green beans
1 dozen eggs
A bag of oranges
We realize that the economy has affected most folks. We are feeling it too. Our bank account is almost empty and we have so much to achieve. We have made the commitment to these families and they are counting on us. We will not let them down. If you, your family, your work, church, book club, running group, etc would like to 'adopt' an individual or family please let us know. We will also be glad to do the shopping for you. I promise you that I am a shopping fiend...I get the best price possible on everything by watching the sales, using every discount and coupon available and will then beg for more. Remember that your donation is 100% tax deductible. Our goal is $6000 raised by December 3rd. Can you help us meet our goal, no amount is too small or too large.
We thank each of you for your continued support and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
DesanaGiving Project Director
The Desana Nashville team, led by Kathi Gilleland has been very active this year. We have continued to grow relationships in East Nashville at Kirkpatrick Enhanced Option School and the nearby neighborhoods. It is hard to believe that such poverty and need exist so close but unseen to many. By sponsoring field trips, school plays and providing necessary supplies, you (our supporters and volunteers) have helped ensure that at least some of these children will be able to one day know a life outside of the bonds of poverty. It may happen soon or it may take a while but if we plant the seeds and work the fields, the harvest will come.
Last year while delivering gifts as part of our Christmas projects, our volunteers crossed paths with two women that were working their way through a recovery program. Through a series of unfortunate events and a scam, the women found themselves without a home to live in and no jobs. Remembering a business card they received from one of our volunteers, they gave us a call.
Although their situation didn't fit the usual circumstances that we work in, we felt moved to become involved. Through Kathi's patience, persistence and resourcefulness, we helped get them into a permanent housing situation. They were able to complete job training and continue with their recovery. One lady had lost her job because her teeth were falling out. With the generous help of a local dentist and donations from family and friends, she was able to get all new teeth. Two days later she started a new job! Today, they are well on their way to being fully self supporting and we have two new friends and supporters of Desana.