What the Holiday Season Success is all about
The Winter Holidays are a busy time of year for non-profits of all kinds but particularly for those agencies like CEAP providing immediate needs for people in the community. Demand goes up as the temperature goes down and folks have to stretch their limited incomes even further to cover rising heating costs, increased transportation costs, and the need for warm winter weather clothing for growing children. 2014 was no different. Fortunately, the generosity of the community grows even more than other times of the year. The community response was tremendous! Family Services is where all that generosity meets those in need coming to CEAP for help. One result: we served 677 families (1,820 children) through our annual Hope for the Holidays program wherein CEAP participants from the Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, east Champlin areas can get gifts for their household. Overall, for the month of December Family Services helped 1,662 households (5,939 people)in both Anoka and northwest Hennepin Counties get food , including 20 homeless youth at the No Hassles Youth Food Shelf in Brooklyn Center.
But statistics tell only a portion of the story and what really tells us we’re meeting CEAP’s mission of stabilizing individuals and families in financial distress are the stories from people coming through the door, and how CEAP’s efforts and availability makes a difference in their lives. I routinely hear people expressing gratitude that CEAP is the one place where they can get help making ends meet after they’ve paid all their other bills and met all their other obligations. There isn’t a “rent shelf” or a “Phone bill shelf” or a “Gasoline shelf”, but there is a food shelf, and CEAP is it for them. And in a cold winter holiday season, that is all the difference for many of them. That is what CEAP’s Holiday Season success is all about.