With all of the challenges faced in 2020 from Covid-19 – limited meeting space, low volunteer capacity, and low funds available due to many canceled fundraisers – DRIVE originally set out to assist around 75 children for Christmas in 2020. To accomplish this, DRIVE collaborated with Macomb Charitable Foundation, which exists to help children living at or below poverty level in Macomb County. We chose to sponsor 18 families within MCF that included 61 local children and their mothers for the holiday. With this sponsorship, DRIVE provided each family with a basket of home and personal care items, a gift card for food (Kroger), and supplied each child with a winter coat, hat, socks and winter boots. In addition to this, we also enlisted our community of donors to purchase items for these children off their “wish lists” to complete each child’s Christmas Gift. Wish list items included toys, bedding, clothing, art supplies, and more. We even received a very generous corporate donation towards coats & boots from our friends at Lanzen Fabricating Inc.! On Wednesday December 16th 2020 all families received their packages via pick up with plenty of time to prepare for the holiday with their children! During the time that we were wrapping our gifts for MCF we were contacted by MCREST with a request for Christmas assistance for their families as well. DRIVE collaborated with this group back in 2019 and knew of the incredible need that the children enrolled in the program had so we decided to step in and assist with toys for these children! Thankfully, we still had some toys left in storage from our Christmas Cheer Program last year that we were able to use for these children and with a few social media posts and community support, we were able to get together enough gifts for each of the 34 children enrolled in MCREST. On Friday December 18th these gifts were hand delivered by DRIVE and SANTA to the children and Santa even made it into the Detroit News! Check out the photos here! While delivering gifts on the 18th we got to talking with Santa (Pastor Curtiss Ostosh of Harvest Time Christian Fellowship of Warren)… It turns out that he was working with some children in his community that were in desperate need of some Christmas Cheer as well. The community that Pastor Curtiss Serves is one of the poorest in the county with around 83% of its residents living in poverty. After spending the afternoon with him, seeing his passion for these children, and hearing the stories of some of the children that he was already helping on his own, DRIVE decided that we would also assist Pastor Curtiss with Christmas gifts for the children that he referred to us. Admittedly being very close to Christmas and quite low in inventory it sent us into a bit of a frenzy trying to gather gifts for another 37 children but we DID IT! With the toys that we had left over, a few phone calls to donors and a very welcome last minute donation from the wonderful employees at TARGET on 26 Mile we were able to get together a bag of gifts for each child requested! On Tuesday December 22nd Pastor Curtiss came to our location and picked up all of the gifts to deliver to this group of children JUST in time for the holiday! When you combine these efforts, and add in the 11 children that we assisted through our own website, DRIVE supported over 140 children (and 18 moms) for Christmas this year! We are very grateful for every sponsor, volunteer, and donor that helped us get this accomplished! We love delivering a bit of Christmas magic to these children and could not do it without each of you! We’re looking forward to a safer and even more magical 2021!