#GivingTuesday and beyond! The Hive Society needs your help to provide holiday cheer to 5 deserving families.

Every year it seems the holiday decorations roll out earlier and earlier. Giant candy canes and towering nutcracker statues spring up around the city as the weather begins to cool down and the people begin to warm up. Strangers are friendlier, more familiar. No matter what this holiday season means to you, it’s hard to deny that there’s an obvious shift in how humans interact. While I really wish that people would be this kind and giving year-round, I’ll take it whenever I can get it.

hive society, adopt a family

Galleria Houston Christmas Tree (2014) | Photo Credit: Raquel Seymone

Last year, The Hive Society celebrated our very first holiday season together. Instead of an ugly sweater party with Secret Santa gift exchanges, we took on the task of adopting 3 deserving families. With the help of our friends, family, and readers near and far, we delivered 100+ gifts and were able to share a moment of compassion and kindness with our new friends. The rewarding feeling of seeing our adopted families smile (and sometimes cry with joy) made the hours we spent wrapping presents so worth it. With the success of last year’s holiday project, we knew it was only right that this became a #HiveLife tradition, so this year we’ve committed to adopting not 1, not 2, but 5 families!

hive society, adopt a family

4 of our families were adopted through Neighborhood Centers Inc.’s Adopt-a-Family program and one family was submitted by a HiveSociety.com reader. While the family names have been removed or changed to protect their identities, we’ve provided their stories below:

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Family #1 is a blended family composed of a couple and their 6 children, ages 11 months to 8 years old. The mother is an immigrant from Honduras who left a 5-year abusive relationship with her two young children. She came to the U.S. with no money and no family or friends. With the support of neighbors, she was able to escape the threats and abuse of her children’s father and move on with her life. She happily remarried and their families have grown together, despite the many hardships they’ve faced. Dad works over 50 hours a week doing yard work, and Mom works part-time cleaning homes when she’s not at home taking care of the 11 month daughter and 2 years old son. Mom says that she has always had very little and the new life she has formed here in the U.S. is more than she could imagine. She’s always positive and thankful for having the most basic things like shelter and healthy children. This family will be appreciative of any donation or assistance that you may offer.

Urgent Needs: blankets, pots/pans/dishes/silverware, work boots for Dad, toiletries, school supplies, socks and underwear

Wish list: Kids – Frozen/Cars/Spider-man/Batman Blankets, books, puzzles, ABC Blocks; Mom – perfume, makeup, accessories; Dad – boots, soccer ball, basketball

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Family #2 is made up of an elderly couple who had to take in their grandchildren after their daughter passed away this past July. While they try to provide their granddaughters (15, 12, and 5) with their immediate needs, it can be quite difficult, as they are on a very fixed retirement income. Their grandkids have been resilient through these trying times and it is the grandparents’ hope that their family will be blessed with adequate fitting clothes and jackets. Family #2’s grandmother writes, “I am sincerely grateful that people like you exists to bring hope, happiness, and some relief to families like mine. Thank you and your loved ones be well.”

Urgent Needs: Clothes for the kids and jackets

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Family #3 consists of a single mother with 4 children, 2 of which have special needs. The mother is unemployed and sites that it’s difficult to find a job with a flexible schedule,as she constantly has to take her children to the hospital. She lost her transportation after her children’s father was deported and the family car was repossessed. She shares, “since then, everything has been very difficult for us. We’ve gone through heat, cold, and rain, and people have been rude to us.” The mother did receive a car as a gift, but the car needs a lot of repair work. Every time Family #3 seems to find a bit of hope, another one of life’s burdens knock them back. She hopes that she can provide her children with a cheerful Christmas, as they’ve been so many difficulties this year and remain positive.

Urgent Needs: Groceries, winter clothes, bed covers

Wish list: Learning games, 5 dining chairs, car repair services

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Family #4 is a two-parent household with 5 little girls, ages 4 months to 12 years old. Two years ago, the mother was diagnosed with cancer and underwent aggressive chemotherapy. She states, “my two youngest daughters are miracles, since I was not supposed to be able to have anymore kids, and I ended up pregnant twice!” This stage of Family #4’s life has been difficult as they’ve had to adjust to the demands of battling cancer. The parents share that their 5 daughters a good girls who are great students, and they’d love to be able to give them gifts this Christmas.

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Family #5 was nominated by a HiveSociety.com reader who shares:

Hello, I’d like to nominate John* and his family to be adopted for the holidays. John’s family has experienced a tough season approaching the holidays. His mother was released from rehab after being clean for 8 months, but she has not been able to find work. While John’s mother was away, he was taken care of by his grandfather. John’s grandfather was the only person in the family with a car and a few weeks ago, his truck broke down. Many nights, the family does not eat because they do not have transportation to get to the store.

A week before Thanksgiving, John’s grandfather passed away suddenly. Grandpa was the glue that kept the family together and his absence has taken a toll on the family. This family is much deserving of this blessing and could really use the holiday cheer. I hope that you will consider them.

[After we notified John’s teacher that we had selected his family, she sent us an update.]

Thank you so much for selecting John and his family. After I sent this email, his grandmother went into a coma. Prayerfully, she became responsive after 48 hours, but she has a long road to recovery.

I’m not sure what the limits are in regards to the cost of gifts, but John and his family could use a fun family outing of some sort. Whether it be reasonable tickets to a sporting event, movie tickets or a day at an arcade such as Main Event or Dave & Busters. They don’t spend much time together outside of home.

John loves sports and music.  His favorite teams are the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Texans. His favorite football player is Odell Beckham Jr. He loves sports gear A LOT. Jessie*, the baby sister is only 2 years old, so I’m sure any toy would suffice for her. I’ve collected clothes, shoes, baby needs and groceries for them over the past week and that should hold them over for a while.  

Thank you again for selecting Family #5, I truly appreciate it.

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Our hope is that our community of friends, family, and neighbors come together again to show these families they are cared for, that they matter, and that complete strangers consider them a part of their extended families this holiday season.

We’ve created a few options for you to help adopt our families. Every bit helps and no gift is too small.

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Donate via PayPal. You can choose any amount to donate and your donations will be used specifically for our Adopt-a-Family project.

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Purchase directly from our Amazon Wish list. We’ve added lots of items from our families’ wish lists. You can pick a gift and it’ll ship directly to The Hive Society. Having trouble picking?  You can purchase a digital Amazon gift card and we’ll do the shopping for you!

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In-person toy drop off. We’ll be hosting a holiday event (more details coming soon.) There will be an opportunity for you to come fellowship with the bees and drop off any unwrapped gifts.

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If you have  additional resources or any large items that you’d be willing to donate, please email Giving@HiveSociety.com with the subject line “Adopt a Family” and we’ll help you make arrangements!

From our Hive Family to yours, we wish you a happy holidays!