Typically the holiday season is a special time of year for people.
Everyone is filled with joy and happiness. It is a time to be with family, friends, and loved ones, while gathered around a Christmas tree with lots of presents underneath, a roaring fire in the fireplace adorned with stockings, and a table with a delicious feast. Unfortunately, that Hallmark holiday picture is not the reality for so many people.
While many families are faced with financial and other stresses, the holiday season may not be something to look forward to for some.
That is why, for the past three years, the Blueridge and Seymour Heights residents have been helping their fellow neighbors during the holiday season with the Blueridge Cares Initiative. The community comes together to raise funds and purchase gifts for families within their community that are in need and have reached out to them requesting support.
The last two years the Blueridge Cares Initiative has helped over 14 families, consisting of over 30 people and 5 pets. The Blueridge Cares volunteers, known as the Blueridge Care Elves, go shopping on behalf of families in need to make the holiday season a little brighter for them. Through the generosity of Blueridge and Seymour Heights residents, gifts and food, as well as any other necessities are purchased and delivered, respecting the anonymity of the families.
If anyone would like to donate, we are accepting gifts for children, teens, adults, and pets. Grocery store gift cards and gas cards are always appreciated. If you would like to make a cash donation, you can also reach out to the Blueridge Community Association. All the items are sorted and gift-wrapped and delivered by our helpful volunteers before Christmas so that children have gifts to open on Christmas morning and food to eat.
This year, families in Blueridge are also doing a “reverse advent calendar” where each day in November an item of non-perishable food or other useful product is added to a hamper, so that they can also be delivered to a worthy family. If anyone is interested in participating the information can be found on the Blueridge Community website.
The aim of this initiative has always been to ensure that the holiday season is made easier, full of love and laughter, so that those families who are struggling and are in need might not have to worry.
Mahnaz Fardghassemi is a member of the Blueridge Community Association.
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