In 2006, Valerie asked Fred if he wanted to give the kids their first ever Christmas, and of course his answer was “yes!” Most of the children had never experienced a Christmas where they received presents or had a beautiful party to celebrate and eat as much as they wanted.
Since then, we have come a long way from wrapping 1-3 tonnes (40-50 boxes at a max of 50 lbs) and shipping from Canada to Miami. With the explosion of online shopping juggernaut Amazon, the The Christmas Miracle has streamlined with the times. Valerie and her assistant ask each child what they want for Christmas, and members of The Morgan Jayne Foundation find each item on Amazon and create a personalized wish list for every child.
Valerie writes: “I want to tell you about why we do this, why we don’t, like some other charities, just throw a soccer ball or a doll at them and move on. Now I think it’s great people give kids who normally wouldn’t get anything for Christmas a gift, those charities are great, but that is not what WE are doing. While a kind gesture, the children know that those gifts were not special for them. They know if they were not there some other child would have gotten the same thing. Here, in our program, our children do not get what they want all year long. Think about that. Your kids ask daily for new shoes, soccer uniforms, trips to McDonalds etc. and they usually get them. Here, most children never even ask . They certainly don’t ask for anything for birthdays and Christmases. So once a year we let them pick a couple toys they would like, we add an outfit, shoes and a book to that – and poof – a miracle happens. Children who felt they were of no importance or value in this world have one day a year where they feel special, someone cared enough to get them what THEY wanted. The boost to these kids’ self esteem is amazing! It doesn’t just last one day, it lasts all year long. It helps them do better at school, it helps them deal with losses in their family better, it helps them grow into people who want to make a difference. It helps them grow into people like you!”
It’s an incredible labor of love and the pictures below show the immense joy The Christmas Miracle brings.