HEAR  FROM OUR SPONSORS

I feel so blessed to have my children and my parents and my extended family.  Even if there were no presents at Christmas, the best gifts we have already.  These kids do not have that same sense of family and security; and having the opportunity to hopefully bring a smile to their face on Christmas is another very special gift!  Red Bag Delivery Day is the day each year when the Christmas Season truly begins for me!  I can’t EVEN IMAGINE a Christmas without this program!

Marty M. - sponsor

The Christmas Families Project provides a great opportunity to give back to the community. The wonderful volunteers make this happen for the kids and families, without them and all the people that adopt the kids and families there would not be a Christmas for many kids and families every year.  I feel honored to be part of this group that helps so many people.

Pat K. - sponsor and board member

I am so grateful to have received Red Bags for several of the children on my caseload. One of my parents was able to reunify with her 3 year old child very close to Christmas time but she didn't know how she would be able to pull off Santa coming to the house. Her face lit up when I brought the giant red bag filled with wrapped gifts for her little boy. She was even more excited to see the bright green bike with training wheels that her son had been asking for all year. Thank you so much Red Bags for making families’ Christmases truly magical.  One of my youth, 14 year old female, got a Red Bag this last year. She got to see that people care and she was super excited to see all the awesome things she got. The foster parents said she was smiles all day and really appreciated the gifts.  I received Red Bags for a sibling group of 3.  They were in the beginning process of transitioning home. The bio parents were not prepared for the Christmas holiday.  I was able to split the items from the Red Bags between their bio home and their kinship placement.  This allowed the sibling group to have a good Christmas in both settings, home and foster home, which was very helpful during the transition.  I had a child that had never experienced Christmas gifts before and was just surprised that he was receiving toys. He continued to ask, “this is mine, all mine?” “Why are you giving me toys?” Then stated, “Wow, this is cool.”

Kristen, social worker, Cornerstone

 

Every year to be a part of the Red Bag program means the world to me, our families, our staff and our kids. Everyone knows when it is “red bag day” what that means in our office! Those red bags filled with gifts brings nothing but smiles to everyone’s faces and hearts. Every year I am so impressed with the generosity from your donors, they will never know how much joy they bring to our kids on Christmas morning! Thank you so much for all you do every year, we truly appreciate your partnership.  

Jackie - social worker, KVC

One of the most heartwarming parts of serving Red Bag is the children of our church. When they understand the effort, their hearts are immeasurably touched. We have children who have for years sacrificially given their allowance to purchase Red Bag gifts - the pride in their eyes as they present the wrapped gift fills the room. Years later, those same children now help with sign-up, sorting and delivery, immeasurably touching others with their compassion and efforts.

Tammi S.

I was responsible for gathering the necessary information for the customers who participated in the red bag gift program. I am pleased to inform you, that I have had the pleasure in speaking to some of the families that were fortunate to receive their red bags this past Christmas. Everyone was so thankful and  pleased to have been able to provide a Christmas for their children. Ms. Charmayne,who was a participant ,stated that “ it was such a blessing and it really helped to be able to have gifts on Christmas morning”. She also stated “that the red bags was actually Christmas for her daughter and son. And they got exactly what they asked for. Her children were so excited to open the gifts Christmas morning”. Thank you again.” CAAGKC thank you as well - to see the grateful  faces that day was  a beautiful  thing to see.

Latesha L., social worker, Community Action Agency

Over the past four years, our office participation has swelled from filling five to last year’s 14 Red Bags.  It is shear joy - families and friends out there doing RB together - knowing that these are gifts with no strings attached.  It throws us into exciting, radical love for a moment.  It reminds us of God’s radical gift to us - Jesus.

Jana

For several years Nativity Parish School has participated in Red Bag Christmas Project.
Our children get so excited to receive their adopted child for whom they will purchase gifts for that season. It is so fun to see their creativity and generosity come through in hopes to make another child their same age smile with joy. We always look forward to another exciting year working with the devoted volunteers of Red Bag. So many children benefit in all ways from such an organized and rewarding program.

 

Nativity Parish School

Lee's Summit Christian Church loves participating in the Red Bag program each year! It is a great way for families and groups at church to help share the joy of Christmas with children and families who may need a little extra help that time of year. Each year, seeing all the Red Bags being dropped off and loaded onto trucks always makes my heart full! I'm so thankful for all the volunteers and Red Bag sponsors that help to make Christmas special for these children and families. I'm honored to play a small role in this amazing program!

 

Jill - Lee's Summit Christian Church

The need was born in a tiny, dirt-floor dwelling in rural Edgerton, Kansas.  And the vision took hold in the heart of a humble, kind-hearted man.  In the winter of 1984, Daniel Jacobs drove to western Johnson County to tell a family that KCPL had to cut off their electricity for lack of payment.  He had done it before, and he would need to do it again but this particular family’s plight haunted him.  With Christmas approaching, he knew he had to find some way to help!  Stirred by Daniel’s passion, within eight days his family, friends and co-workers had donated so many gifts and so much food that his garage was overflowing.  That first year, three families were blessed with the magic of Christmas.      

 

After experiencing this measure of generosity from others, Daniel knew he was on to something!  Over the years, his outreach grew.  More and more families were helped—and the garages in his cul de sac were filled to the brim with items for others.

 

A couple of years later, a fortuitous encounter with a social worker inspired Daniel to extend his outreach and the Red Bags portion of Christmas Families was launched.  Foster kids on both sides of the state line became recipients of large red bags stuffed with things they needed such as warm clothing and school supplies and items they longed for like remote-control cars, Barbies and Legos.

 

Thirty-six years later, this grassroots organization continues to bring the spirit of the holidays to more than 50 families and 1500 foster kids every December.  Individuals, faith communities, businesses and organizations look over a child’s wish list, choose the items, shop for just the right things and add the wrapped gifts to the Red Bag for special delivery on Christmas morning.

 

In the words of one sponsor, “Red Bag Delivery day is the day each year when the Christmas Season truly begins for me!  I can’t EVEN IMAGINE a Christmas without this program!”

 

Christmas Families was incorporated as a 501© 3 organization in 1992.  Today it proudly continues as an all-volunteer entity.  With the exception of a handful of hard expenses such as printing and other support materials, 100% of donations are used to buy gifts and food for families and foster children.  Visit redbagskc.com for more information.

 

Sadly, Daniel Jacobs passed away in 2017—but what a legacy he left!  Christmas Families is his gift to us.  We honor his generous spirit each time we adopt a family or foster child and are blessed to help carry on the rich tradition he began.