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Playing Santa

Submitted by Nancy Villanueva, Right from the Start Program Coordinator 

Just last week I met a mom while helping families with Operation Santa applications at Rochester Organization of Families (ROOF). Her family just moved to Rochester and wasn't familiar with resources available in the community.

She had her 4-year-old son with her and she said that she was interested in early learning things for him to get prepared for kindergarten. I seized on the opportunity to share with her about United Way's Right from the Start program and invited her to attend story time.

I also shared with her that as part of the program we offer families two trips to the Hands on Children's Museum throughout the year. Her eyes lit up and I could see she was excited. She said "That would be such an amazing experience because I have been wanting to take my kids there, but due to some financial circumstances, I can't afford to take my three kids". I knew in an instant that I could step in and play Santa for this family. I gave her a free family pass so she could visit the museum with her kids whenever worked for their family. She gave me a hug and broke into tears saying "you guys have made my day, with helping me provide a Christmas for my kids and the chance for them to experience the museum".