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sarah jacobson preu's Fundraiser:

Toy Drive

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BENEFITING:

sarah jacobson preu

THE STORY:

Our mom, Diana Jacobson, was a social worker in Leavenworth schools where nearly half of the children fell below the poverty line or where all the children were disabled in some way. While her efforts to get resources for these kids and their families were every present throughout the year, even during the summer when school was out, Christmastime was very special to mom. She always had the most beautiful Christmas decorations and often held cookie decorating parties with her grandkids. Among these Christmas traditions was the sponsorship of a family or two (or three!) in need that mom knew about from school or her work in the community.

Mom made this a family affair: She talked my Dad into buying a Santa suit to dress up in for the kids as they delivered the presents. She would get my brothers and I to donate, shop and help deliver presents. My brother, Bart, can tell you great stories of hiding outside houses on Christmas Eve with a car load of presents and big dude dressed as Santa in his passenger seat. Last year, they went a step further and did a toy drop in a subsidized housing development where they reported kids with big eyes of disbelief as Santa and his elves stood on the corner handing out gifts.

This year mom became very ill and was in an out of the hospital for several months. During her last month on earth with us, as she sat in the hospital bed preparing for high risk open heart surgery, she worried that she wouldn't be at school this year to find a family to help. She was talking to her nurses about getting them to pitch in for a family; talking to us, her kids, about making big plans for another toy drop; and working on getting Dad to wear that Santa suit again. In other words, working her usual magic.

Mom passed away Oct 29th. In the aftermath of losing her, we were tying up loose ends and found a reserve of silver coins she had invested in years ago. In typical Jacobson fashion, our talk about mom's wishes for when she passed quickly turned into a brainstorming session. Someone brought up her Christmas traditions. We realized then that that bag of silver wasn't sliver at all. It was a bag of seeds that needed to be planted -- the seeds of Nana's Christmas Tree.

Some of the more practical of the family, said, "Not this year, you guys. It's already Thanksgiving!" The less practical said,"No! We can do it! And we'll do it bigger than ever!" So, the result is somewhere in between. While we have wonderful people wanting to help us make this dream a reality, which we never even expected, without our mom, a bunch of project managers, dads, and technical writers have no idea where the need is. We were missing our key player, who always gave a listening ear to people and knew exactly their need before they did. While we're still playing this by ear this year, we know that mom is working behind the scenes to help us bring a little Christmas magic to the hometown she loved dearly.

So, that is where you come in! Here's your chance to make a little magic. You can nominate a family for sponsorship via direct message on Facebook and your name will be kept confidential. If you're unsure, contact us first and we can tell you the different options available to families we sponsor and go over the approach we take to getting them presents and a visit from Santa. Most importantly, you can trust that the family you nominate will be treated with the utmost respect. Our mission is simply to continue our mom's work in life: bringing a smile to a child's face at Christmas.

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sarah is working on selecting a charity so you can support Toy Drive.