A different kind of Secret Santa for Team Oakwood this year.
Every Christmas Team Oakwood always take part in a Secret Santa by purchasing a present for a colleague. But this year we decided to give up on the candles, chocolates, and coffee mugs and put that money to a good cause, and to buy Christmas presents for children who may not be as fortunate.
We spoke to our local Food Bank and they put us in contact with Elaine McCarthy the Centre Manager of Cliftonville Community Centre who loved our idea. She immediately started listing some children that would love to receive a present from us. So, we worked together to compile a list of all the children and their ages and any special requirements, so no child was left without a gift.
This was such a humbling conversation and immediately felt so special that we would be able to buy a present for a specific child and be able to choose the perfect present just for them.
Every team member of Oakwood Homes picked a child from the compiled list, mostly that resonated with a son or daughter or child they knew of similar age and the shopping began. All our team members came armed with gifts all wrapped and ready for delivery, along with some clothes and toys that their own children wanted to pass on. Everyone loved taking part and all commented this was the best Secret Santa ever!
On Monday morning we loaded the car up to the brim and set off to deliver all the amazing gifts to Cliftonville Community Centre in time for them to be distributed to the parents and children in time for Christmas.
It was wonderful to meet Elaine in person, instantly feeling the passion and determination she has we loved hearing all the steps her and her team are taking to support the local community. She asked for our thanks to be passed onto our team and said “Thank you all so much to your fabulous team for the invaluable support x💜💚x it means so much."
Team Oakwood have loved being part of this project and it has shown in their generosity. We have been fortunate to see photo’s of some of the parents and children receiving their gifts which has made this project magical and has reminded us all what Christmas is really all about!
This is now, a new tradition for Team Oakwood and we are already looking forward to working with Elaine and the team at Cliftonville Community Centre to support them in 2024 and have already planned to deliver some food and supplies in January.