Celebrating the Spirit of the Season with Holiday Magic

By Amy McKnight, Holiday Magic Coordinator

Every year, Treehouse staff and volunteers work hard to make the season brighter through our Holiday Magic gift-giving program. 2020 has been no exception!

Some of the 4,500 requests fulfilled this year included a LeapFrog Learning System, a portable cell phone charger and matching bicycles. Our youth and caregivers know just what to ask for to make this time of year even more magical.

A grandmother made a Holiday Magic request for the five grandkids currently under her care. They are all set for a great Christmas after receiving six board games, two FurReal Friends and several handmade wooden toys.

Twins Alayna and Alyssa are going to have a great surprise under the tree Christmas morning. These sisters always want to do everything together, and this year, they’re getting matching pink and purple bikes through our Holiday Magic program! Their caregiver knows they’re going to have an amazing time riding around together.

Another caregiver reached out to register the siblings in their care for our Holiday Magic program. Though they’re 16 years apart in age, Angie and Devan are close as could be. Their caregiver requested a portable charger for Devan and a new baby doll for Angie. He knows Angie will have fun getting her brother to play make believe with her and her doll.

This year, COVID-19 has everyone stressed—our youth included. Lindsey has not been a huge fan of remote learning and sometimes has anxiety caused by her online classes. Her caregiver requested a weighted blanket for her to help with the stress and keep her cozy in the winter months. Lindsey said she was looking forward to using her new blanket as soon as it arrived.

Remote learning has affected many of our young people. Daymein has been hard at work figuring out school from home. Since he’s spending so much more time inside, he asked for a new speaker so he can play his music at home.

River loves to run around and explore the world, but he sometimes gets overstimulated and needs assistance calming back down. His caregiver requested a sensory sock that he can wrap himself up in to feel safe and secure. She knows he’ll be excited by his Holiday Magic present.

Another one of our youth faced a relatable dilemma this year: Dylan has had trouble with his phone dying on him after he forgets to charge it at home. His foster mom decided to request a portable cell phone charger as a Holiday Magic gift so that he can charge on the go!

Finally, a caregiver called us to make a special Holiday Magic request. The youth has to make lots of trips to Seattle Children’s, and she was hoping to get him a LeapFrog Learning System to keep him entertained in the car and help make sure he keeps up in school. She was thrilled that we were able to send one over and is confident he will love the gift.

This year, we turned to corporate partners and community groups to close the funding gap created by the pandemic. The Boeing Company’s Spirit of the Holidays supported Holiday Magic, and numerous companies stepped up to ensure that holiday gifts were delivered to youth across the state.

Thanks to Puget Sound Energy, Coordinated Care, Olympus, Goldman Sachs, Emerald City Pizza, Badgley Phelps Wealth Managers, Mercer Island Rotary Club, Workpointe and Swansons Nursery for sponsoring Holiday Magic. A big thanks to Apex Foundation for providing matching funds for all Holiday Magic sponsorships. Community support is a pillar to Treehouse’s work, and we are so thankful for everyone who has partnered with us this holiday season.

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About the Author

Amy McKnight is the Holiday Magic Coordinator at Treehouse. She enjoys working with caregivers and youth to find meaningful holiday gifts to send across Washington state.

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