In 1950, a young girl wrote a Christmas wish list. She longed for a wool skirt in the colors of Woodrow Wilson High School, so that she would look like the other girls in her class. On Christmas morning, she carefully opened her packages wrapped in white and found a beautiful skirt and blouse, hand-made by her sponsor, a woman she would come to know as “mom.”
Today, Chestine lives at Fowler Christian Apartments and as she recalls her time spent at the Fowler Children’s Home, she is grateful for the upbringing she received.
“I never knew hunger once I came to the home. While I longed for the love of a mom and dad, I was never lonely; the older people were kind, the matrons were strict, and the children were mischievous and fun. We had chores and once they were done, we played. We all had a family in the church that ‘sponsored’ us, and we spent one Sunday a month with them. Though I remained at the Home until I graduated from high school, my sponsors were the only “mom and pop” I knew and remained a part of my life.”
Chestine is one of many Fowler children who returned to live at Fowler in her later years. She recalls the pain of abandonment; she also recalls the encouragement and protection of her Fowler Family. Today, the Fowler Family is still providing for Chestine. For more than 128 years, generous people like you have made Christmas dreams come true with White Gifts.
The White Gift tradition started many years ago when a minister’s wife encouraged the members of her church to bring gifts wrapped in white for the poor of their town. As the gifts were wrapped, no one knew who gave a lavish gift or a modest gift. All gifts were given joyfully with God’s love.
This tradition soon spread to other churches and that is how White Gifts came to Fowler! For years, White Gifts arrived in many shapes and sizes for our children and elders. Some were wrapped in white paper. Many came in white envelopes. All were given in the true spirit of Christmas honoring the One who loved us first.
Now as much as ever, White Gifts bridge the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the young and older at Fowler through the One Heart Fund. For 46 weeks, we have navigated a pandemic that has the potential of harming our vulnerable children, youth and elders. We remain fierce in our protection and in our efforts to fight isolation, fear and hunger. Our mission has not stopped, and your gifts are crucial to life at Fowler. Your White Gift donation is needed by….
- Chestine and her neighbors who live on fixed incomes and choose between medicine or groceries. Your White Gift provides meals, supportive care and a safe place to call home.
- Young women like Lequisha, fighting abandonment and homelessness. Your White Gift provides shelter, food, scholarships and counseling to guide her to a promising future.
- Boys and girls at our Youth Opportunity Center, who have experienced the desperation and immeasurable pain of sex-trafficking and who are finding safety and hope.
- Children like Luke who have been abused and neglected and yearn for love. Your White Gift provides a safe home and caring foster parents.
As you enjoy this Christmas season, please take a moment to remember those at Fowler by giving a White Gift today. With just one gift, you will bring love to children who have experienced trauma, change the life-course of youth, and nurture the spirit and dignity of an aging adult.
Won’t you join me now in loving people and making a difference at Fowler? May the blessings of Christmas be yours this holiday season and through the New Year.