Mountain Family Center embarks on another Christmas Project in Grand County |

Mountain Family Center embarks on another Christmas Project in Grand County

Imagine being a child who anticipates Christmas for weeks, discusses Santa’s arrival with friends and family, insists on staying awake all night to actually “catch” Santa. Although parents may have said to the child Santa has too many kids to help this year, that one might have to wait for a visit next year, the child still hangs on to that hope that Santa will truly arrive. Then, on Christmas morning, the child wakes before everyone else to see if one’s dreams come true. Racing quietly through the house, the child discovers there really is nothing under the Christmas tree.

A child such as this is the reason Mountain Family Center’s Christmas Project has been going strong for more than 25 years.

Mountain Family Center’s Christmas Project matches struggling families with generous anonymous sponsors. Parents fill out Santa’s list for their children and return it to the Center. Staff matches the families with sponsors based on the sizes of households. The sponsors receive the children’s list to Santa, purchase the gift(s), wrap them and deliver them to the designated drop-off location with a nice food basket or a grocery card. Throughout the entire process, the recipient family never discovers who their “Santa” is, and “Santa” never knows who was helped. It is charity in its purist form.

“In 2010, we actually ran out of sponsors for the project,” said Mandi Appelhans, one of Mountain Family Center’s Family Development Specialists. “Fortunately, there were many Toy Drives benefiting the Center, so the families involved in one of our programs were able to select a gift for their children. Or, we were able to refer the families to one of the other Christmas Projects in the County.”

With a growing need in Grand County, the Mountain Family Center will work with other organizations and churches that host Holiday Projects to ensure that all struggling families can put a few things under the tree for their children.

“It takes a great deal of courage to ask for help – especially that first time,” said Mountain Family Center Executive Director Jill Korkowski, “and it takes more than money to sponsor a family – it takes time, passion and desire to truly make a difference in the life of a child.”

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