OUR STORIES / Participants

Powerful Gifts of Hope & Dignity

EFAA’s gift room is so much more than shelves of toys and gifts. It is a lifeline of hope for parents, and a reassurance to kids that things will be okay. Each family comes into the gift room with their own story.

Philippa is one of the mothers who comes to EFAA today to select gifts for her children to give them something that says “We are going to be okay.”

After years of living in an abusive marriage, she and her kids fled for their lives to protect their safety. Everything they knew – a comfortable middle-class home, school, work, friends, toys – is now gone, exchanged for freedom from violence. They are starting a new life and building up from nothing.

Philippa knows that the stress she is experiencing – finding a safe place to live, landing a job, dealing with legal work, and maintaining her health – is something she can endure. It is her kids she is most worried about. After the trauma they have lived through, she wants to provide them some comfort and normalcy in every way she can. She wants to give them something to play with while she is working hard to create a new life. She wants to give them safety and security. To her, EFAA’s gift room is a way she can begin to do this. So, in addition to the food she got from the food bank to help them get through the week, and the case manager she worked with to connect her with other resources to help her though this difficult time, EFAA gave her hope, dignity and a hand up.