PROVIDING CHRISTMAS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED IN THE KANSAS CITY METROPOLITAN AREA
2021 RED BAGS AND CHRISTMAS FAMILIES DELIVERY WILL BE HELD ON
SATURDAY, DEC. 4TH!
2020 RED BAGS WRAPUP
Well, it’s been a year!! We couldn’t have “saved” Christmas for our Red Bag kiddos without each and every one of you!! Last year was our best ever, placing 1635 kids!! This year, because of all of the circumstances caused by COVID, we had to move up our date, change our delivery location and adjust to a new normal—just like all of you! We started out asking our agencies for a total of 1150 kiddos because we just didn’t know what to expect. With the earlier date, would sponsors have the Christmas spirit? With schools, churches and businesses working remotely, would they be able to offer the same support as in the past? Would economics prevent some of our faithful sponsors from being able to help this one year? And lastly, would we be able to make up the difference with new sponsors? Quite a lot of questions with no way to forecast the answers until now.
It didn’t matter at all that kids’ information was passed out in September and October and shopping options didn’t include Black Friday. Many donors shopped online almost exclusively; others ventured out a bit but all were clearly in the spirit of the holidays as they filled the Red Bags.
The vast majority of our schools, churches and businesses found a way to make it work! The coordinators of each group were unyielding in their commitment to recognizing the changes that had to be made, then implementing creative ways to accomplish them. Their members responded in force.
Most of our long-time sponsors stepped up and adopted kids again, with several of them adopting two rather than one, or three rather than two. Just proves what everyone in this program believes—once our sponsors experience the magic of Red Bags, they are hooked on the feeling!
As for new sponsors, the outpouring astounded us all—far beyond our wildest expectations. We got new sponsors, some groups but mainly individuals, from the touching coverage by Channel 9 and through word-of-mouth. Word of Red Bags and the need for additional help this year spread like wildfire! One person told a family member who told a neighbor who engaged their office and on and on. As the weeks rolled on, we were able to go back to our agencies time and again to get the names of very real kiddos that we were afraid we weren’t going to be able to serve this year. And the result? A resounding victory over last year’s record. YOU adopted 1652 babies, children, tweens, teens and young adults! Because your heart made room for a kid you don’t know and will never meet, each of them will find abundant joy this Holiday Season.
OK, call us crazy if you will. But we are so excited for next year! Because if our community can come together in the chaos of this time, in the midst of a pandemic, and shatter the record, oh my! What will Christmas 2021 bring? Because we know that once exposed to this phenomenon called “Red Bags”, our sponsors are smitten and can’t resist coming back for more.
From all of the Red Bag Team and the hundreds of kids served, a big ‘THANK YOU” and may you receive the same holiday joy that you spread.
See you next year!!
2020 CHRISTMAS FAMILIES WRAPUP
Providing an amazing Christmas for entire families began very simply over 35 years ago. Daniel Jacobs saw a family with a dirt floor and no Christmas tree or presents. That Christmas, co workers and neighbors came together and provided a magical Christmas that family will never forget. Since that Christmas, we have provided well over 2,000 families in dire need, that are working hard to make it, that same magical Christmas. The year 2020, with Covid and the loss of jobs, the need has been greater than ever. Again this year, neighbors and companies have stepped forward to sponsor 35 entire families. The families in need wishes were blessed with amazing gifts and gift cards for food this Christmas. We have such a warm feeling of thankfulness for all of our volunteers and sponsors here throughout the metro KC area. We see each and every Christmas why they call this place we call Kansas City, the heart of America.
SPECIAL 'THANK YOUs':
To The Retirement Planning Group, Leawood, led by Kevin Conard and Chris Costello, who made it possible for 130 of our kiddos to have bikes under their Christmas trees. The company underwrote the cost of 130 bikes and assembled them for distribution.
To Fry Wagner Moving Company for donating the moving vans we use to store our Red Bags on delivery day each year.
To A&M Printing for all their help over the years with our printing needs.
To Frontier Bags for providing our bright red bags every year.
To KMBZ Radio 98.8 and KMBC TV Channel 9 for letting the people of Kansas City know about our organization.
To the Ball Conference Center for hosting our delivery day and to the cities of Sugar Creek, MO and Lake Waukomis, MO for all of their help distributing the delivered red bags to the various Kansas City Metro area social service agencies.
To our Kansas City Metro area social service agencies that re-grouped with us and started gathering their kiddos Christmas lists in August and provided us with everything we needed (and more) to move our delivery up six weeks!