Brighten The Holidays for JF&CS Clients

November 07, 2022

Brighten The Holidays for JF&CS Clients

Shiny new bicycles adorned with ribbons. Lego sets wrapped in festive paper. New stuffed animals ready for hugs. Happy smiles on children’s faces, relief on their parents' faces.

For 27 years, volunteer Jody Reichel has spearheaded the Holiday Gift Fund to help brighten the holiday season for Atlanta families who cannot afford gifts for their children. The program has helped hundreds of families through the years. In June, Reichel received Jewish Federation's coveted Mary and Max London People Power Award in recognition for her work with the Holiday Gift Program. Once again, Bonnie Kwatnez and Lisa Fleischmann are joining Reichel in leading the project together.

Many of our community families have fallen on tough times, whether it is due to the continued impacts of the pandemic, a general illness of a child or family member, rising inflation, or other unforeseen financial setbacks. JF&CS staff collect wish lists from client families with children and Reichel works to fulfill the wish lists.

One young mother who has a child in the PAL Program, was thrilled with the gifts she received.

"Last year, we received a brand new dryer from the program. I couldn't believe it! I asked on a whim, since the only thing I really wanted was to be able to get our laundry done faster, after hang drying all of our clothes for the previous four years because we didn't have access to a dryer. As a working single parent, it can be hard to make sure your kid has the clothes they will need when you have to plan out 1.5-2 days ahead for drying time. This is just one example of the myriad of ways JF&CS and the holiday program makes a huge impact for our family each year," the mother explained.

How To Participate

Here's how you can help make a wonderful holiday happen for families in need:

Reichel requests that if you purchase a gift, to include a gift receipt with the unwrapped gift. You may also include a card to the family and wrapping paper.

“We are grateful and humbled by the depth of the community's generosity," Reichel added.