TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

November 27, 2012

Be a Christmas Star


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — You can be a Christmas Star this holiday season by joining with Sunrise Children’s Services to help make the season a special one for victims of abuse and neglect.

We often get irritated by the commercialism of this special season that seems to come earlier and earlier each year. However, imagine how frustrating all this build-up and hype can be for a child who knows that come Christmas morning, he or she will wake up in a cold house with nothing under the tree and little to eat.

Sadly, this is true for thousands of children in Kentucky each year. We like our images of Christmas to be of some warm Norman Rockwell-like painting of happy children racing down the stairs to loving parents and a beautiful tree towering over a floor full of colorful presents and toys. Later, those images turn to a table running over with delicious food, surrounded by smiling faces of family and friends and inside a home bursting with love. But the truth is, Christmas can be a very depressing time for many children who know nothing of a home like this.

There are children in Kentucky who will go to sleep on Christmas evening, not with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, but rather the aches of hunger pangs keeping them from sleep. A young girl may lie awake hoping that for once, her father won’t sneak into her room and do things to her a father shouldn’t. A young boy may lie in fear, hoping his intoxicated mother will leave him and his brother alone for just one night without a beating or physical abuse. Other children may cry themselves to sleep, having just heard for the thousandth time that they are worthless, ugly and hated by their parents.

Fortunately, you have a chance to help hundreds of these children enjoy a Merry Christmas this year. Many children who have been removed from neglectful and abusive homes have been placed with Sunrise Children’s Services, either in one of our foster homes, or our residential programs across the state. Each year, Sunrise strives to make Christmas a season of special hope, meaning and joy. Knowing many of these young people have never experienced a good Christmas, we take seriously this opportunity to make them feel loved, special and appreciated.

But we can’t do it without your help.

The Sunrise Christmas Sponsorship campaign is an opportunity for you to take an active role in making a very real difference in the life of a child. Each child in the care of Sunrise fills out a Christmas wish list and we forward that list to you, the sponsor. This list includes a lot of practical needs like clothes, and includes the child’s gender, clothes size, shoe size, their favorite colors and other details that will help you pick out items they will cherish. There’s also space on their wish lists for them to include a few other ideas for gifts they’d like to have.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to be directly involved in the lives of children who long to know love, especially at this time of year. The smile you’ll give them as they open up their gifts will truly be rewarding for you as well.

For more information about how to become involved, you can contact Cindya Hills at chills@sunrise.org or by calling her at 1-800-456-1386.

John Shindlebower,

Associate Director of Communications

Sunrise Children’s Services