It started seven years ago as a way to honor a grandchild that died in Hilda Hamilton’s arms when the baby was just 12 hours old. In its first year, Storm’s Christmas Blessing provided 42 children with gloves and hats. But it has grown each year and a year ago 477 children received a couple Christmas gifts plus hats, socks, gloves and cookies.
This year Storm’s Christmas Blessing will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at New Life Church and Ministries, 6101 SR 247, just south of Hillsboro.
“Whoever shows up and says they need it, that’s who we serve, as long as supplies last,” Hamilton said. She said there will hopefully be enough toys and clothing to serve around 500 kids this year.
Parents just need to show up and provide their child’s name and age. The children do not need to be present, but Hamilton said there will be a place for them to shop, free of charge, for Christmas presents for their parents or grandparents.
A member of New Life Church and Ministries, Hamilton started Storm’s Christmas Blessing in 2010 after Storm, one of two twin granddaughters, died shortly after birth due to complications. The other twin’s name is Skye.
“We consider Storm our angel and Skye our miracle,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton was devastated by the loss and had trouble coping with it. So to help deal with her emotions and turn a negative into a positive, she started Storm’s Christmas Blessing.
Hamilton and several helpers hold various fundraisers throughout the year to help support the program, and she asks the community to donate new hats, gloves, coats and toys – new or gently used – to be turned into Christmas gifts for area children. Cash donations are also accepted.
“For those of you who have donated to this event in the past we cannot thank you enough for making this event a success,” Hamilton said in a news release. “Through your generosity, you have brought smiles to the faces of many children who would have otherwise had a very bleak Christmas.”
The group has acquired several gift items for girls, but said it is in great need of items for teenage boys like basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, T-shirts and other clothing. In addition, hats, gloves, coats and toys – new or gently used – are needed for all age groups.
Anyone wanting to make a donation or to arrange to have donated items picked up can contact Hamilton at 937-205-0123 or 937-402-1429.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.