2023

As the first session of Blankets of Blessing was concluding and volunteers were helping the families and their children carry gifts to their cars or the cars of those who had transported them, a mother and her three children were just arriving. December 2, 2023 was a cold, overcast, and drizzly day, but there were so many bright smiles on the faces of those who had attended the morning session of the event. This particular mother had traveled 3 hours and taken 4 buses with her children only to arrive as the event was ending. Her youngest child was on a feeding bag. Her determination to get to the event for the sake of her children was inspiring but the hours spent trying to arrive, heart-breaking to hear about. Several of our wonderful volunteers found and delivered the family’s specific gifts on the day of the outreach and also worked together to provide this mom and her children a ride to their home. As some later heard the story of this resolute mom, a grocery gift card was donated and we were honored to deliver the gift card and a few other items to the family, including a winter coat for “mom,” who didn’t own one.

Another mom arrived mid-way through the event donning her work vest on her brief break, hopeful to receive the gifts designated for her family. Our policy is that families must be present and attend the entire event, but this precious mom made such an effort to arrive in behalf of her children, we made an exception allowing her to take the gifts designated for her children as she returned to her job to complete her shift.

In a year of tough economic times, Blankets of Blessing 2023 served a combined total of 383 parents and their children, resulting in great joy and many smiles! For the first time, we hosted 2 sessions of celebration, which included children attending Broken Arrow Head Start and Early Head Start Programs, CAP Tulsa, Happy Hands Education Center for deaf and hard of hearing children, and other local organizations serving children. We also hosted eligible children from local Burmese refugee communities in the area.

Another mom arrived mid-way through the event donning her work vest on her brief break, hopeful to receive the gifts designated for her family. Our policy is that families must be present and attend the entire event, but this precious mom made such an effort to arrive in behalf of her children, we made an exception allowing her to take the gifts designated for her children as she returned to her job to complete her shift.

In a year of tough economic times, Blankets of Blessing 2023 served a combined total of 383 parents and their children, resulting in great joy and many smiles! For the first time, we hosted 2 sessions of celebration, which included children attending Broken Arrow Head Start and Early Head Start Programs, CAP Tulsa, Happy Hands Education Center for deaf and hard of hearing children, and other local organizations serving children. We also hosted eligible children from local Burmese refugee communities in the area.

Because of the increased need, we prayed, asked for help to allow more children to attend (we had a record number of applications submitted), and within a few days, we were able to plan for many more children to be blessed during the holiday season. We are so grateful for the response and great generosity of many local businesses and individuals that responded so quickly to the need, enabling us to touch the hearts and lives of so many!

Each child (newborn to 7 years old) attending this year’s event received a warm blanket, a new winter jacket, pajamas, socks, hat and mittens, one nice toy and a book about the first Christmas. Each mom received a gift basket filled with gift cards for kids’ meals, haircuts, grocery stores and other helpful donations from local businesses and ministries.

We had nearly 80 amazing volunteers including interpreters for both Hispanic and Burmese families attending the celebration and also an interpreter for the deaf and hearing impaired. Our wonderful volunteers spanned the generations including children, teens, young adults and progressively older men and women freely and selflessly giving of their time and energy to make the day special for those attending. They filled the atmosphere with love and joy and served the children and their families with great compassion.

Whatever part you played in making Blankets of Blessing 2023 the tremendous success it was, we are so grateful. You have made a great impact on the lives of these precious children and their families. Thank you!