Without fail, this time of year always reminds me of a moment during the holiday season of 1996. That year I was the director of the only available safe haven for abused children in this area. It was an emergency shelter that could house a maximum of 12 children birth to 12 years of age. We had just completed a busy holiday season that provided what, we hoped, was a merry Christmas for the 10 young children who were away from their families because of abuse and neglect.
Right after the holidays, I was running an errand in the shelter’s minivan and noticed a piece of paper on the van’s floor. It was a Christmas wish list from a 7-year-old girl living at our shelter. I will never forget that little scribbled list and the items on it. They were:
2. Baby doll
3. Doll house
4. My baby brother
5. High heel shoes
6. Easy bake oven
7. TO STAY HERE FOREVER
The last wish “to stay here forever” was written in huge letters that took up half of the page. Sadly, that wish, along with the wish for her baby brother, were two wishes we were unable to grant her.
It was this child with her simple Christmas wish, and many more children just like her, that drove Sela Ward to found Hope Village for Children. A place where siblings might live together, and a place they could stay as long as the need was there.
We couldn’t provide that place without the help of our generous supporters and community who help to provide happy Christmas mornings for our children, and a home all the rest of the year. If you would like to partner with Hope Village for Children and support us financially, you can make a donation online. Thank you for helping us make Christmas wishes come true!
Hope Village Executive Director