Jo Trizila
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Christmas in July has come and passed, which means Christmas is less than six months away. That may seem like more than enough time to prepare for the season of giving, but for some, the holidays require a bit of planning. In fact, now is the time Heroes for Children (HFC) – a unique nonprofit that provides social and financial assistance to families whose children are battling cancer – begins organizing Holiday Heroes. This special event hosted by HFC Friends, an auxiliary of Heroes for Children, provides an evening of holiday cheer for families facing a cancer diagnosis.

“When families focus all of their attention on a child who is sick, it’s easy for holiday traditions to get pushed aside. We host programs like Holiday Heroes so families can celebrate special occasions away from their child’s cancer diagnosis. It is such a joy to provide families with everything they need to celebrate the season together,” says Larissa Linton, cofounder and executive director of Heroes for Children.

Holiday Heroes offers full holiday joy to the families, which it serves throughout the year. Each holiday season, social workers choose families in need from hospitals served by Heroes for Children across the state of Texas. Families selected for the program are “adopted” and benefit from individual, corporate and community sponsors. These sponsors can contribute pure financial support or they can get more involved on a personal level. Sponsors that choose to be more involved will go out into the community and shop, wrap and donate gifts to HFC families.

In order for Heroes for Children to help more families in 2015, it takes continuous support from sponsors and community members. Last year, generous sponsors enabled HFC to support 78 families and 197 children across the state of Texas to make Christmas special in 2014.

One continuous supporter of Heroes for Children is Texas-based handbag designer Elaine Turner. Last year, Elaine along with members of her staff and family adopted a family, to make their Christmas unforgettable. Elaine and her team members personally picked out presents for 4-year-old Seth battling Neuroblastoma, his 3-year-old sister Lucy and their mother Chelsea to deliver to them at the Holiday Heroes party. Watch Elaine and her team provide a magical Christmas experience for this family here.

To get involved as a sponsor or volunteer, Holiday Heroes offers three levels of sponsorship: 

  • Holiday Heroes sponsor the holiday party as well as a family.
  • Stocking Stuffers offers a hands-on opportunity to help by shopping, wrapping and sponsoring gifts for an HFC Family.
  • Secret Santa sponsorship allows donors to make a financial contribution specifically for the Holiday Heroes program and notifies the sponsor about the family they are helping.

As Heroes for Children takes the next steps in preparing for Holiday Heroes, they would love the support of the surrounding communities. The spirit of giving is paramount for the success of Holiday Heroes. Donations can be made online and information about volunteering for Holiday Heroes is available through Heroes for Children.

This year, HFC will host Holiday Heroes on December 6 at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and at Trini Mendenhall Community Center in Houston; the event will be held at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on December 13.

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