By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
The day before Thanksgiving, a Bend mother of five had a brain tumor removed.
A surgery she wasn’t even sure she would survive.
“I kind of wanted to be prepared for everything,” the woman said, asking to remain anonymous. “If I wasn’t maybe able to give my kids a good Christmas regardless of how good or bad it turned out.”
She applied for a Christmas makeover with The Giving Plate food pantry in Bend and was surprised with $2,500 worth of gifts from local sponsor, David Rosell.
“It was pretty cool to find out that we were chosen,” she said. “It’ll be nice to be able to give my kids a really fun and exciting Christmas.”
The Giving Plate typically holds an annual Christmas event with presents for their guests to pick out.
This year, COVID forced the non-profit to get creative.
Instead, Executive Director Ranae Staley organized Christmas Makeovers, choosing families through an application process.
“We were looking for people in the community, sponsors, to invest not only the money but also the time to come alongside these families and really see them at a deeper level,” Staley said. “Not just put stuff in their hands, but really see them.”
The original goal was for six sponsors to gift a minimum of $2,500 to six families in need.
The response from potential donors was so significant, 11 local families are now receiving gifts – most in the form of gift cards or presents.
Our Bend recipient says she hopes one day she can pay it forward.
“I’m excited to see the looks on their faces when they come down,” she said. “They’re going to pretty much have the best Christmas they’ve ever had and that’s what we kind of wanted to focus on. Just to give the kids a really super fun, happy Christmas and I’m going to be able to do that this year and it’s a good feeling.”
To be a 2021 Giving Plate Christmas Makeover sponsor, email Ranae Staley at email@example.com.