Christmas Blessings | Melissa Lynn Hunt Seniors

Christmas morning was one of the most anticipated mornings growing up. We could hardly stand it on Christmas eve. We knew we had to go to bed or Santa Claus would not come. But how could we possibly go to bed? We were way to excited!! Inevitably we would fall asleep, but only for a short time. Every year, without fail, my brother and I were up by 5:00am. Sometimes even earlier. We would rush down the stairs, discover Santa had arrived, and then rush back upstairs to wake up our parents. I can still feel that adrenaline rush today. It's a feeling that never leaves you. The unfortunate thing is that not every kid can count on Christmas morning like I did growing up. My desire to make a difference for those who aren't guaranteed a Christmas led to fundraising for Hope Match. I chose Hope Match because the organization is about giving a hand up - not a hand out. In most cases they are working families who have been hit by an unexpected tragedy. The families not only receive a Christmas but they also receive guidance throughout the year. This guidance could be anything from becoming financially healthy to finding work.

The #mlhseniorrolemodels team and our amazing donors rallied together this year to raise over $1800.  These funds allowed us to sponsor three families. We were matched with a family of 4, a family of 6, and a family of 7.

Over the course of a week my team and I shopped around fulfilling both needs and wants from each person's wish list.  This experience is a humbling one because you see that these families wish for things that we typically take for grant it. Most of the time their wishes are for socks, underwear, laundry detergent, and toilet paper. We work really hard to stretch our dollars so that we can fulfill every single wish on the list.

My favorite part this year was shopping at the disney store. We saved close to 65% on what we shopped for there. That was huge! Then we scored big when we found a top of the line car seat that was close to 40% off. After fulfilling everyone's wishes we had a little money left over. I used that money to purchase wrapping paper, gift bags, large gift sacks, and tape! Those were items that the organization had asked for on their wish list.

We had a very successful year for so many reasons. But most importantly because of everyone who donated to support our efforts. We had past donors, first time donors, and past team members donate. It was very heart warming. charlotte-nc-senior-portrait-photographer_1466