Each holiday season, many of us celebrate and exchange gifts with loved ones. This season has been quite different with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many of us distanced. But for children and families with little to no income, holidays have always looked less than ideal.
For more than 20 years, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) has helped spread joy to at-risk families during the holidays. Through an event called SantAccountants, they provide Christmas gifts to children at the Center For Transforming Lives (CTL). The CTL provides no-cost anti-poverty programs for women and children in and around Fort Worth, Texas.
Random Acts Director of Finance David Antonelli has volunteered with SantAccountants for over 10 years. Every year, they have managed to extend their reach to even more schools and families. With 1,136 gifts in 2020, SantAccountants collected their most yet.
Gift Wrapping and Gift Giving
When David received his list of gift suggestions for the children he would buy for, he got to work with his wife. After helping him out with the project for the past few years, his wife has established a system to make their shopping easier. Categorizing their list by age and gender, they keep track of how many of each item they need.
Yet even with their system in place, David spent more than he budgeted for. In the spirit of helping others, it seems natural to classify this as a “happy accident.”
After the myriad of boxes arrived at their house, David and his wife spent over three days sorting and wrapping about 45 gifts for 20 children.
“Our living room was filled with wrapping paper and boxes!” David said.
Once wrapped up, they brought the gifts to the TSCPA’s Fort Worth Chapter office, where they were transferred to individual schools for distribution. David is hopeful that with the greater number of families they helped in 2020, and given all the challenges the past year has created, the gifts will leave a promising impact.
“Sometimes these are the only gifts that the children may receive,” David said. “With everyone feeling the effects of COVID, I wanted to be sure to expand my act this year to capture more children.”