130 MCS Families have Brighter Holiday

130 MCS Families have Brighter Holiday Thanks to Mason Cares, Joshua's Place
Posted on 01/08/2020
Over 100 Mason City Schools families (286 children) had a brighter holiday thanks to a new district program, Mason Cares, facilitated by local nonprofit Joshua's Place. Mason City Schools staff, teams, and community members purchased over $30,000 in gifts, gift cards and wrapping supplies for Comet families in need.

"The goal of Mason Cares is to come alongside the school district counselors to help provide holiday gifts to their students in need while supporting the families. We then found sponsors in the community for each of those families," explained Joshua's Place Programs Director Susan Simendinger. "We did not wrap the gifts, but supplied wrapping paper and tape to the guardians.  In this way, the parents/guardians could fully participate in the excitement of being able to give holiday gifts to their children. When families arrived the day of pickup, they were treated to some festive snacks and were able to select some extra plush toys and gift wrapping supplies. All of this being done in anonymity and making sure to preserve the family's dignity.  Joshua’s Place facilitated the sponsorship of 286 children and 130 families with Mason Cares. Volunteers stepped up to collect funds and gifts, confirmed that families’ needs with accuracy, and bagged gifts and needs by household."

Mason High School Student Government sponsored 50 students, and raised an additional $5,650 which made it possible to give each of the 130 families an additional $50 - $100 gift card based on household size. 

Families who were the recipients of the Mason Cares efforts express their gratitude.
  • "Thank you, thank you! I just picked up...my cup is overflowing with love! I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation."
  • "Thank you very much for demonstrating that you really care about people.  God bless all those who generously worked to make this Christmas unforgettable for my family. "
  • "I am ever grateful and blessed with the kindness the community has given us. Thank you to all the people involved!"
  • "Please thank the entire staff of Mason Cares! They made an embarrassing situation very pleasant. Everyone was so nice and generous. It brought tears to my eyes. It is my hope to be on the giving end with you all some year."
  • "Thank you for adding to our Hanukkah this year! I have had many health issues and this was one less worry for me. It is hard to ask for help in a community with so much money when you have so little." 
  • "Thank you so much! We got our packages and gift card. What a blessing! I can't express my gratitude enough!! Truly, have a very Merry Christmas, we sure will now!"

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