Southwest Iowa families given a Christmas boost

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 6:14 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - New Visions Homeless Service in Council Bluffs, Iowa is giving hope to families in need. The organization is holding its annual community-wide Christmas celebration.

“We know that 2020 has been hard. And so, a lot of things have come up unexpectedly leaving people wondering how they’re going to provide Christmas,” the organization’s Chief Operation Officer, Brandy Waller, explained.

She said this year will look a little different.

“Just like in 2020 style it’s the year of pivot,” Waller said.

Families will drive through a Christmas village, and make stops at different pods.

Volunteers, including Santa Claus, will hand out wrapped presents for kids and their parents.

“They get a stuffed animal. And we have diapers for families,” Waller said.

The families cannot leave without a holiday meal box.

“With the full turkey and milk and eggs and potatoes,” Waller added.

At the end of the drive, kids will get a big special bag to be opened on Christmas Day.

“We had various very generous donors that went out shopping for them so that they would be able to get items off of their wish list,” Waller said.

Normally this event is one night only. They serve around 1,500 cars. However, thanks to donors and volunteers 1,000 cars will drive through the Christmas village for three nights in a row.

“We want mom and dad to use their dollars to pay their rent. Pay their utilities,” Waller said.

As families head home with a trunk full of items staff and volunteers hope they also receive an important message.

“You have a whole community behind you that loves you and that supports you and things will get better,” Waller added.

The event will end Wednesday, December 16th.

If there are still gifts and donations, the shelter will continue to hand them out to families until Christmas day.

Families who are not registered with another organization can qualify to receive gifts. You can sign up here.

Or you can call New Visions Service’s office on Thursday, December 17th at 712.322.7570.

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