Dad Club London started out with a small idea to help a family in need this year to make Christmas a memorable event for them despite any challenges they might be facing. Our initial goal was $500 for a father who was having a hard time providing Christmas to his family due to circumstances beyond his control, and $500 for Women’s Community House for families who were in a safe space in shelter over the holidays.
This group donation would be then intertwined with a shopping trip for dads and children, in which we can provide teachable moments with regards to the true meaning of Christmas and spreading our good fortune with others who need help.
This year, we became a place to help those in need to the tune of to not just 1, but 5 member families received a full $500 Christmas assist from Dad Club London members. Dads who applied and were chosen were able to suggest a wish list for every child in their household, and their partners as well.
Donating members and their children purchased the gifts and delivered to the dads so that they could still partake in the experience of excitedly wrapping presents for their children while picturing their faces as they open them.
Upon discovering that Women’s Community House had 29 children in shelter over the holidays, Dad Club London dropped off close to $700 in cash, along with hundreds of dollars in presents and gift cards.
With our membership of 2100 and growing, our group was able to raise $3,650 compared to our goal of $1000. Our members came out in droves to help in any way they could. Donations are still pouring in and we will continue to collect and disburse until it stops.
23 member families applied for a Christmas assist. Five dads received a full $500 shopping spree on their behalf, six more received $100 gift cards for their own shopping trips, and another seven received presents for their children on behalf of their friends at Dad Club London. Over the next few days, Amazon gifts will arrive, gift cards will be spent, and a Christmas full of love and memories will be shared by struggling dads all across the city who want nothing more than to see their children smile.
An eight year old child without a father and struggling with multiple medical issues also received a Playstation three and a full assortment of age appropriate games donated by group members, and another father in need received a re-purposed laptop for his children courtesy of Forest City Computers so that his kids wouldn’t have to go back to their mother’s to do homework during their weeks with their father.
Remember how we said Dad Club of London is many things to many different people? Our donations were able to help so many of our own, and also provide hope to mothers whose Christmas holidays have been set off course by someone who is not acting as a strong role model, partner, or father figure.
Those dads and their families who are facing challenges not just during the holidays but year round will get a bit of a break this holiday season and continued support through our group if and when they need it.
Have a safe holiday season! If you’re a dad in the local area, join us on Facebook or Dad Club London.
Derek Tang, Finance Director