Dnate
By Jen Harp
Christmas is a pretty special time around here. Each year, we set aside a room just for moms where they can “shop” for their children’s Christmas presents. They’re able to choose a few toys for each child, along with slippers, pajamas, socks and underwear, a jacket, and other clothing items. All of the items are donated to Shepherd’s Gate by generous people and organizations in our community. Talia was one of those mothers who shopped in our Gift Room last year. Separated from her children because of an addiction she developed during her own horrible childhood, she finally had her children with her for Christmas at Shepherd’s Gate. It was an amazing moment, watching her hand each of her children their Christmas gifts — that she picked out. Their eyes lit up with surprise that Christmas was for them, too. Everything was quiet for a second, until the first child began ripping into the paper… and then the excitement really began!

And in Talia’s eyes, there was something new — dignity and hope. Restoring self-respect is so important in the lives of people who are in domestic violence and drug recovery programs, and it’s a joy to watch it happen. The family was together, safe and warm, and heard the real Christmas story for the first time. Now, that’s a Christmas! Every year, we watch this special exchange — kids receiving, and moms being able to give — and our hearts get so full. I don’t think we’ll ever quite get used to this kind of Christmas joy. We are so grateful for everyone who makes it possible for us to love people with God’s love at Christmastime. Thank you for your generosity, your donations of toys and clothing to women and children at Shepherd’s Gate, and of course, your faithful prayers. You really do make it a Merry Christmas around here. Have you ever experienced an out-of-the-ordinary moment that helped you appreciate the real meaning of Christmas in a new way? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments section below.

Jen Harp Director of Marketing, Shepherd’s Gate

Shepherd’s Gate Locations

1660 Portola Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
United States
(925) 443-4283

605 Sycamore Ave
Brentwood, CA 94513
United States
(925) 308-7507

888.216.4776

shepgate@shepherdsgate.org

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