Financial pressures have taken their toll on families this holiday season, but four businesses have brought holiday wishes to families.
Through the collaboration of Pflugerville’s Bodies by Design, Rabadi Jujitsu & Mui Thai and Brotheron’s Black Iron Barbecue, and Summit Travel & Tours of Round Rock, seven families received gifts, gift cards and donations to help them through the holiday season. In addition, the businesses have raised more than $10,000 that will go to help Central Texas families who need help with renting a home.
A parent of a family assisted by the Bodies by Design fitness center in Pflugerville said any donation received was helpful as they couldn’t afford Christmas gifts.
“This year has been a tough one with being forced to move and try to provide transportation for me to keep working and also trying to catch up on bills,” said the parent, who asked not to be named. “Children will have gifts to open Christmas. This is a real blessing and we are very grateful!”
Families receive money, donations, and gifts through the Central Texas Schools Community Care Coordination Program. School communities help provide resources to each school community. The Care Coordination Program provides out-of-school families with the resources they need to achieve their goals. During the holidays, gifts and donations to families come from local businesses, according to care coordinator Edith Rivera.
Rivera said families in the program are referred by schools.
“Programs like this help support not only the student, but parents and their natural support so that every child has the opportunity to stay in school and achieve their academic/life goals,” Rivera said.
According to her, this year up to 60 families received assistance on vacation.
Bodies by Design hosted four families this holiday season. Rabadie, Brotherton and Summit each adopted the same family. According to Rivera, each family can have from two to seven people.
Some of the items requested from families included toys, clothing, and arts and crafts supplies. Families received gifts and donations collected by businesses on December 21st.
Rivera said most of the cash donations given to families were used by parents for gifts “to give the kids something to open on Christmas morning.”
More:Pflugerville businesses grant holiday wishes to 8 families in need
Fred Sassani, group leader of Bodies by Design, said it’s important for small businesses to give back to the community because the simplest things can have the most impact.
“It’s hard to find real organizations that help because you don’t know where your money is going,” he said. “But we actually know it’s going to certain families and we know the names of those people and it gets a little more personal instead of just throwing money in the bucket.”
The Bodies By Design Gym community continues to help by providing all the wish list items for families who choose to adopt the gym. Each year, gym leaders set up a whiteboard with wish list items and clients choose which item they want to donate.
Sassani said they could adopt more families each year as the wish lists are simple, such as clothes, books and toys.
Since 2014, Bodies by Design has adopted a family every year to fulfill Christmas wish lists. In 2021, Rabadi Jujitsu and Mui Thai adopted two families.