Christmas is a time for loving and sharing that love with those around you. It’s also a time for presents, I mean come on what child doesn’t want to open a gift on Christmas morning and what parent doesn’t deserve something special as well? Sometimes however, especially in this downed economy, Christmas morning is being considered a luxury and one many can’t afford. When Melanie with the blog ModernMami and Kohl’s approached me about a project to help those families that could use some gifts under their Christmas tree this Holiday season I was really excited to take part. Especially when I found out we’d be working with other Central Florida Bloggers.
Kohl’s Cares is a program that gives back to local communities in many ways including with cash, volunteer hours and much more. They asked me, Melanie and two other amazing bloggers Jennifer with TheSuburbanMom and Jessica with UnemployedMom to each adopt a family in need from a local organization. They then gave each of us a $250 Kohl’s gift card (along with a lot of coupons) to take to our local Kohl’s Department Store and shop for these families.
We chose organizations such as Catholic Charities of Central Florida and New Image Youth Center to adopt our families. Once we had their names we were sure to get all their sizes and some particulars about what each family member would like to receive. Then we went shopping. That was an experience. Jennifer is an extreme couponer, I’ve never seen anyone save the way she does. She was able to ensure our families received the most for the money we were allotted. It was a wonderful experience but 4 women in a store shopping for about 20 people is exhausting. I thought we’d never get done. Our carts were overflowing and we still weren’t finished. We put a ton of heart into the project.
Melanie is smart too, she decided we should just stop at the Kohl’s gift cards, we should also see which of our brands we work with would like to be involved. She wrote out a great letter and we sent it to companies near and far. Because of her ingenious thinking we received even more for the families. Here is a list of the brands/companies that donated product to the Central Florida Bloggers Give initiative.
- ALDI: Facebook, Pinterest
- ConAgra Foods: Facebook, Twitter
- CoverGirl: Facebook
- CVS: Facebook, Twitter
- Dockers: Facebook, Twitter
- Energizer: Facebook, Twitter
- Hallmark: Facebook, Twitter (special thanks to Melanie who has been working with Hallmark on the Life is a Special Occasion campaign and was able to coordinate through that partnership)
- Johnson’s Baby: Facebook
- Kohl’s: Facebook, Twitter
- Mead Online: FiveStar and EarlyLearning
- Playskool: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
- Scholastic: Twitter
- SeaWorld; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- The Motherhood: Twitter
- VeggieTales: Facebook, Twitter
These families are going to be simply amazed when they receive their box of gifts, or in some cases their boxes of gifts depending on the number of members in their family. My family was large so we had nearly 4 boxes (big boxes) full of presents for them. It brought tears to all our eyes to feel the generosity our brands, the representatives we work with on a regular basis, were able to deliver us.
Please keep in mind that while the organizations in your area are in extra need during the Holidays, they are always in need year round. Consider donating to an organization in your near you so you know you’ve helped those in your own community. Items like canned or boxed food, clothing for each gender and all ages, toiletries and toys are always welcomed.