Sponsor a child for holiday cheer

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Starting Thursday, applications are being accepted for needy families to apply for their children to receive Christmas gifts through “Christmas Sponsorship (757).”

“Christmas Sponsorship (757)” is a Facebook group run by Kendra and Savannah Avery that connects families in need with families willing to help, according to the group’s Facebook page, “so that every child can get a Christmas gift from Santa.” This is part of the “Coastal Virginia Philanthropy Group.”

This is the fourth year for the Facebook page group, which first began after a Facebook conversation Savannah Avery was part of four years ago. Avery read parents’ comments on whether they should tell their children that Santa Claus is real, because they couldn’t afford presents that year.

Email newsletter signup

According to Avery, one mother said that she couldn’t tell her child that Santa was real because she couldn’t afford Christmas presents.

“She didn’t want (her daughter) to think that she was bad and that’s why Santa didn’t bring her gifts,” Avery said. The conversation stunned Avery and motivated her and her wife to help these families enjoy the holidays. “We don’t want these families to go without.”

She joined a Facebook group to sponsor children around the holidays, and when the group’s administrator said that group was going to be shut down, she took over.

Last year, Christmas Sponsorship (757) sponsored 1,400 kids in Hampton Roads and in the surrounding cities, including Smithfield and Williamsburg. This year, the Averys are expecting sponsors to more than double up this year with approximately 3,000 sponsored kids.

“It’s going to be big this year,” Avery said.

Families that want their children sponsored this holiday season can search “Christmas Sponsorship (757)” on Facebook to apply, while those that are interested in sponsoring children can reach out starting on Oct. 20. The deadline to sponsor a child this year is Dec. 20.

Sponsors can specify the number, age and gender of the children they sponsor, as well as the cities the children live in. Children up to age 18 may be sponsored, and each sponsor is asked to spend at least $10 per child, Avery said.

The Facebook group will also give food packages in addition to gift packages for sponsored families. Sponsors may assist with food donations, but are not required to do so.

Avery implored people to help children in need enjoy the magic of Christmas this year.

“Every child deserves to experience Christmas and the magic of it,” Avery said. “We need every kid to get sponsored. We need every child to wake up with a gift from Santa. Every child deserves to have that.”

Search “Christmas Sponsorship (757)” on Facebook for more information.