Medford, Ore.- Christmas is just 15 days away and as it comes closer, a handful of Rogue Valley non-profit organizations are working to help make it a happy holiday for those in need, thanks in part to the generosity of the Medford Sears.
“We partnered with some wonderful people at United Way and were able to sponsor a couple of families,” Medford Sears Manager Mike Beugli explains.
The partnership is a part of Sears Family and Friends event Sunday. The event includes United Way, the Teresa McCormick Center, and Community Exchange. All three organizations shopped for those in need at Sears, using gift cards provided by the store.
For one longtime United Way volunteer, Sunday’s shopping was about something much bigger than herself.
“A passion to help those in need,”21-year volunteer Lisa Stauffer says.
For Stauffer, that decades-long passion is driven by the people in need that she serves.
“Mom wants for the kids,” Stauffer explains of the woman that United Way is shopping for, “She’s a single mom who works hard.”
As Stauffer and the United Way ladies pay for their Christmas gifts, the McCormick Foundation’s Ashley Hughes peruses Sears to help a family in need. She reminisces about one family she helped during the holidays that she’ll never forget.
“We had a family who, you know, mom was not gonna make it much longer and they had lost everything.”
Hughes says everyone pulled together to make Christmas a happy day for that family.
“It was like 3 days before Christmas and the entire Harry and David campus and, as well as United Way, came together to buy those kids gifts for the holidays.”
Even though gifts and spreading holiday cheer is important, both Stauffer and Hughes say that giving back this season is about much more than that.
“This could happen to anyone. Anyone could lose their home’, Hughes says, “Anyone could lose their job.
There’s no time to pass judgment.”
Both Hughes and Stauffer urge people to mindfully give back no matter what you do.
“They need to realize how many families out there need help during the holidays,” Stauffer says, “Help out whether it’s giving back your time or helping a neighbor or working at a soup kitchen.”