Success Stories

Success Stories

We have many programs. One of our most successful programs was during covid. We were able to surprise 2,000 senior citizens in 2020. With the help of grants, volunteers and the community, we were able to put a smile on everyone’s faces that received a gift. Each gift had many everyday items and we added a bit of love to them.
  • A woman called and left a message. She was so happy that her gift had just arrived that while she was leaving her message, I could hear in the background the rustling of her opening the gift. One by one she took each item out and was equally surprised with each gift. She couldn’t believe we sent her exactly what she wanted and questioned “how did you ever know?”. To her surprise, we just followed the survey she filled out.

  • Another phone call we received was a bit of a surprise to us. The caller was upset that we sent a gift to him and his wife when all they wanted was for us to help a family with children in need. Then he saw what we did. We sent him a picture of 4 children who all received a gift in their name and were sent to dinner.

  • I added my mother-in-law’s name to the Angel list, for many reasons. Her gift was a bag full of jammies and a beautiful blanket. For those that wonder what goes through our seniors’ minds when they receive our gifts, I can share with you first hand. The blanket she received she loved so much that she used it all the time. In her final days, that blanket was the one thing she requested over and over again to have with her; she cried out for it many times and told me at one point it was the softest blanket she had ever had. She passed away with her favorite blanket; so, if at any time anyone ever wonders how important the gifts you are donating are to our seniors, this should help you understand it could be the greatest gift they ever received.

Our E.P.I.C. program is for items that need to be bought, fixed, found or donated. Referrals come from social workers, neighbors, and clients themselves. Not all referrals meet the guidelines, but we try to fill what we can. We helped quite a few seniors, but listed below are just a few of those stories.

  • A 90-year-old woman was referred to us by her neighbor. After talking with the woman, we discovered that she was in need of glasses, as she was nearly blind without them, and also needed food. We set up an appointment with an eye doctor, arranged a ride to get her there and paid for her glasses. On the way home from her eye appointment, we took her to the grocery store for a load of groceries. After that, we helped her locate food banks close to her and set her up to receive Meals on Wheels.

  • Some referrals are harder than others. This 78-year-old woman had been referred to us by a social worker. She has been hospitalized for three weeks and had no family to help her. While she was away, her pet cat was home alone with nobody to care for it. Her apartment was unsafe to return to. We were able to help by paying for her apartment to be cleaned, including her rugs. We collected items so that we could replace her sofa and other items, such as lamps, a table, a bed liner and even got her gift cards for clothing.

  • Seniors have difficulties moving. For this, we receive many requests for assistance. In one week, we received two requests for two different men in their 70s needing help relocating. They both had been placed in nursing homes and lost everything. Now, they were ready to move out on their own, but had no money, no furniture, and no family to help. That is where our services are needed. When seniors are placed in a nursing home, their social security checks are sent directly to the home. Unfortunately, that means that when they are ready to leave, they have no money saved for a deposit on an apartment and have nothing to furnish it. For both of these men, we paid their security deposit, first month’s rent, and gave them some items for their apartments.

  • Another reason to move is for safety reasons. A 74-year-old woman needed to move from the second floor to the first floor. She was referred by a social worker. For this specific township, a deposit was needed for electric before she moved into her new apartment because the township monitors it. She did not have the funds to pay this deposit, so we paid the deposit for her.

  • A man in his 60s who was in a wheelchair with a bone disorder was referred by a social worker. This man needed special orthotics. Insurance paid most of it, but he had to pay the rest, on top of a co-pay. He was unable to pay both, so The Christmas Gala paid for his co-pay.

Family Service’s Case Managers working with Bucks County Housing Authority (BCHA) Senior Housing residents often turn to The Christmas Gala during times of need. Residents commonly request help obtaining air conditioners during the summer months, as they are essential for older adults who are particularly susceptible to heat stroke.  This may seem like a simple request; however, the air conditioners needed are not your average window unit. The air conditioners needed for the BCHA apartment buildings are a specific, pricey model used with existing metal sleeves that are built into the windows.

This year, with the help of BCOC, The Christmas Gala was able to help supply 30 air conditioners. These are a very specific size and price and cause a huge burden on the senior to be able to purchase on their own. We are proud to say working together, there are 30 more happy, cool and safe seniors in Bucks County.

Click the link to learn more about The Christmas Gala