A group of single mothers struggling to get back on their feet with the help of a local nonprofit organization is hoping that some local “santas” can make their children’s Christmastime a happy and joyous one.
Bridge to Hope works with homeless women with children by encouraging them along the road to recovery from homelessness. The Bridge to Hope provides temporary housing assistance, group and one-to-one counseling, and some basic necessities to the families in the program. B2H matches families with volunteer teams for guidance, mentorship and emotional support.
But the holidays can be financially and emotionally overwhelming for these small families looking for stability and hope. That’s where donors from the community can help. Currently four families live in the North Central community as they work their way through the program. Each family has a list of needs and wants for the holidays, including a small Christmas tree and decorations for each family.
Family No. 1 is a young mother who was raised in the foster care system and her son, age 7. After struggling with drugs and homelessness, she is now working full-time and breaking the cycle. Her major need is a small: a kitchen microwave. She loves hiking and would appreciate a CamelBak (backpack for water) or hydration waist pack, iPod, shower mat, and any camping supplies. For her son, his needs include athletic shoes, size 1, dress slacks, size 7, and various shirts, size 7. He would like age-appropriate books and board games.
Family No. 2 includes a mother raised with parents who themselves struggled with addiction so it was almost inevitable that she, too, would find herself becoming an addict. Today she is working full time, providing for her 2-year-old son and living a life free from the bondage of addiction. She would like clothes (14/16 pants, size large tops), new running shoes size 11, a curling iron, perfume, jewelry, and a car windshield sun visor. For her son, she would like a toddler’s activity center for the car (attaches to car seat), bedding for a boy, educational toys and games, and a toddler-sized table and chair.
It was being arrested that was the turning point for the mom in Family No. 3, as her own mother worked to get her released into a treatment facility. She is fast approaching two years of sobriety, working and living a life for her daughter, age 10. She is in need of office-appropriate clothing, size 5 junior (pants), medium tops. She also would like an iPod, winter boots, a tent and sleeping bags for camping with her daughter, along with other camping supplies like fishing poles, a tackle box, and tackle. Her daughter would like board games, a plush wolf toy, and an easel and art supplies. She plays soccer and would like goalie gloves. Both are Cardinals fans and would love Cardinals sweatshirts.
After having lost both her young children to the state, the mom in Family No. 4 took charge of her life and entered treatment. Coming to The Bridge to Hope, she now is in a vocation training program. She is learning to take responsibility and be a mother, as her children are now back with her. She is a young adult and in need of office-appropriate clothing, size 1 junior (pants) and extra-small tops in ladies or small in juniors. She also would like a large purse with matching wallet (black, red or purple), a CD player, boots size 6, a Kindle, a welcome mat for the home, and art supplies. She has a daughter, age 1, and a son, age 2. She would appreciate any type of educational toys for her children, a boy set of crib sheets, transitional toys for infant, a baby doll, and a bathroom set (Hello Kitty or Batman).
Unwrapped holiday gifts, along with any wrapping, tags and bows you can provide, should be dropped off to the Bridge to Hope office, 1815 E. Missouri Ave., Ste. 105, by no later than noon on Friday, Dec. 2.
There are two other mothers in the program with children who live outside the Central Phoenix area. For more information on how to help these families or for questions, call Amy Sue Seiser at 602-589-5556 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.