Christmas in July, Inter-Faith style

Amazon’s Prime Days and other “Christmas in July” promotions going on this month reminded us of a story we wanted to share from our 2018 holiday program:

A few years ago, Lorena and her parents entered Inter-Faith’s emergency shelter after a carbon monoxide leak caused their home to be condemned. After a short stay in shelter, they were able to find a new home. We keep in touch with our graduates through the Aftercare program, so that we can be sure they are staying on track. And graduates can take part in our holiday giving program—children and parents provide a wish list of gifts, and donors from the community fulfill their wishes. For families trying to be self-sufficient, it’s huge to get some help at a time of year that can be hard on a tight budget.

Lorena’s wish list was unusual. Most teenagers participating in the holiday program ask for gift cards, a video game, maybe something to wear. Not Lorena. She wanted just one thing: a desk. And Katy, the generous donor who sponsored Lorena’s family, didn’t just provide a desk—she also provided a desk chair and office supplies.

When Lorena came in with her mom to pick up their gifts, she was thrilled to see the desk. We asked her why she had asked for it. She told us she wanted the desk so she could study in her own room, because sometimes the rest of the house can be noisy.

In nonprofit work, you never really know what small changes might make a big difference in a child’s life. Maybe this gift will help Lorena to get an A on a biology test…or to really understand when she is reading “Julius Caesar” in sophomore English…or to master the quadratic equation in her algebra class. Maybe it’s a first step toward college or another type of career training.

We made sure to let Katy know how much her gifts had meant to Lorena. And it turns out that the holiday program doesn’t just touch the recipients. Here’s what Katy said:

“Wow! Thanks for this note! I got choked up when reading it because it is so satisfying when you know that your dollars and efforts make a direct impact to someone in your local community!”

We’d love to welcome you to our circle of supporters, who help us give families like Lorena’s the tools they need to lift themselves up. Please contact Sue, our Community Resource Manager, at or 215-606-3421, if you’d like to volunteer or sign up early for the 2019 holiday program. If you feel moved to donate, you can do so at the button at the top of this email.