Team Chafin Continues Christmas Giving Tradition
When Team Chafin in Cincinnati, Ohio hooked up with the Urban Appalachian Council to adopt a family for Christmas in 2013, one of the team members posed a tough question.
“You fly in at Christmas and shower them with presents, but who is going to look after these people after that,” he asked. “Who’s going to help them next year?”
“We are,” came the quick reply.
True to their word, for the third Christmas in a row – while giving extra to help with back-to-school items and general support through the year – Team Chafin delivers Christmas cheer today (Dec. 11) to a family they now consider friends.
Back in 2013, the matriarch of the family recently put her ailing husband in a nursing home. Her two daughters were struggling with addiction. She was caring for six grandchildren ranging in age from newborn to 15, wondering how she could afford Christmas dinner, let alone presents for the family.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s a blessing we’re able to help,” said STL mentor Garret S. “We’re not that different in terms of family dynamics. We’re changing diapers. We’re struggling to get the 5-year-old to eat his dinner. We’re working on homework with the 8-year-old.
“We’ve been blessed. We have good families, good jobs and food on the table. Having met these people and spent time with them, you know they’ve had a couple bad breaks anybody could have had.”
Garret brings a history of helping others with him to TQL, having done mission work with the poor in Belize, Romania and the Dominican Republic as a youth.
He and Chafin both work in the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce mentoring program, helping young people see the value of education and hard work. This year their team raised more than $1,300 for gifts, food and clothing for their family.
Work like that is one reason Team Chafin won TQL’s 2015 Best of the Best award for community involvement. Chafin himself is a native West Virginian who saw plenty of poverty nearby growing up. (Hence his interest in the Urban Appalachian Council, which has lost its funding since the team’s initial involvement.)
“I’m really proud of that, really proud of my team,” he said. “These guys and girls get it. I learned a lot from my parents about giving back and we’re lucky to be in a position we can. It’s the right thing to do.”
Their adopted family lost its father to illness not long after that first Christmas, but otherwise is doing better with their help. The daughters are sober and the oldest grandchild is close to graduating from high school and looking at college possibilities.
TQL Cares for the Holidays kicked off at the end of November. Share your team’s story of how it’s helping. Send photos and/or videos of your volunteer work to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll highlight some of them on the Life At TQL social media channels and here on the blog site.
Because TQL Cares.