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Christmas Remembered, In July - From the Founder's Desk

Note from the President
Years ago when God put the mission in my heart to launch this organization, I prayed that God would lead me in creating programs that would offer help for people across the city of San Antonio all year round, but especially for an outreach to the poverty stricken families during the Holiday Season. Even with all of the nonprofit organizations providing Christmas gifts, I had learned that there were still children being missed. In addition, I had observed (while working in the nonprofit sector) that the adults, usually a single parent left behind raising the children, did not receive Christmas gifts themselves.

And so, for many, the Christmas season is marked with hardships, dead ends, and no Christmas – right here in San Antonio, a city rich with people, resources, and an endless supply of retail stores. When I shared with people what God had put in my heart to do, to build a database of people whose desire it is to help ENTIRE families at Christmas, they told me it could not be done. They said, “No one will step forward and give Christmas gifts to an entire family!” I was told repeatedly that people were too busy funding their own Christmas, that they had New Years to worry about, and that the economy could not support a Christmas project of this kind. Yet, I pressed into prayer and I asked my five full-time, volunteer staff members to take another leap of faith with me. We began to pray and tell God we were on board with the mission to help those families who were going to be missed during 2012 Christmas season. And we asked Him to connect us with courageous Sponsors (businesses and people) who would do as their heart dictated.

The response was incredible. From partnering with the local community college, to individuals spreading the word and motivating others to give, the donations poured in! Food, clothing, hygiene items, bikes, toys, gift cards, checks – all for those who had nothing for Christmas. I cannot describe the impact your love had when these people received your gifts on Christmas week. Some cried and others went into an emotional shock, a few asked if it was for real. But all said Thank You. And we told them about YOU. We let them know that God had sent the helpers and the good Samaritans. You all are a special group of people, surpassing our own expectations of what we believed would happen with the groups and teams that came together. We saw hearts healing because they no longer felt alone. And because of your work, our faith has greatly grown! This year we are believing to double our numbers of the families we serve. After the outpouring of love and support from our community and donors, I have no doubt we will be able to. From the bottom of my heart, to each and every one of you, Thank You!

God bless,
Elisa Medina-Riebeling
President & Founder
Our Father's Kingdom Services