Gifts With Greater Meaning: A Sponsor’s Story
For her first Christmas after graduating from college 2 years ago, Demetria Edge wanted to do something different. She and her husband were two recent graduates who had a little more money to burn but didn’t feel inspired. The couple wanted to do more than simply give gifts for the sake of it that holiday season.
“We decided that Christmas would be different for us if we spent money on gifts for people. It was going to be something with more meaning behind it,” Edge explains.
It’s almost serendipitous, then, that Edge would begin the perfect job to satisfy her desire. She discovered an outlet for gift-giving with a greater purpose.
That first year after graduation, Edge was introduced to Fostering Christmas, our Boise-based nonprofit that provides Christmas gifts to foster children in southwestern Idaho. These children are often not included on holiday wish lists from other nonprofits because of when they entered the foster care system. Since that first holiday, Edge has been a regular and generous donor for Fostering Christmas. Her husband partners with her to find the perfect gifts for the children they choose to sponsor.
Edge first learned about Fostering Christmas through her job as a nonprofit accountant with Jitasa. Headquartered in Boise, Jitasa provides accounting and bookkeeping services to nonprofits across the U.S. and the world. Their team provides quality accounting services at an affordable price to organizations designed to change the world. In fact, its very name inspires its mission: Jitasa means “the spirit of serving others.”
As one might expect, Jitasa employees are more eager to help their communities than your average employee. So, when Edge heard of Fostering Christmas from a fellow employee, it clicked. It was just the inspiration Edge and her husband needed that first holiday after graduation.
“Maybe we could bring just a little bit of joy or create a small positive memory in the midst of chaos for these kids,” Edge says.
Since their initial participation, Edge and her husband have continued to volunteer. They take on the wish lists for foster children across the region. It’s a fun opportunity, Edge explains, as it allows her and her husband to wander through the toy section! They love choosing gifts they think the children they have selected would enjoy. It’s given new life to their holiday shopping adventures and become one of the couple’s favorite traditions to do together.
And when they swing by the Fostering Christmas official toy workshop — aka our drop-off spot — the magic continues.
“It’s actually exciting seeing all the lists of all the toys,” Edge says. “We don’t have children, so being able to go out and buy toys, I mean it’s just a fun experience for my husband and me to go out and do that.”
As seasoned volunteers, Edge and her husband sponsor a child with Fostering Christmas whose interests are similar to their own. It’s a way of finding a small yet greater connection to a stranger. It also makes finding gifts for someone you have never met much easier.
Although Edge admits, it never gets easier to choose.
“It’s very humbling, too,” Edge explains. “You see the lists of all the kids, and there are just so many. We just wish we could buy all the gifts.”
At Fostering Christmas, we’ve often found that our sponsors have a very similar dilemma. However, we’ve also witnessed sponsors who experience the excitement and joy this kind of service can provide. Regardless of their “why,” sponsors often return year after year, chasing that feeling of doing good.
For Edge and her husband, it’s a way of injecting a little meaning into their holiday celebrations. And despite now living in Washington, Edge and her husband plan to once again participate in Fostering Christmas. They will actually make the trek to Boise with a trunk full of toys and gifts! It’s a journey that could be inspired by Santa Claus himself. And perhaps Edge now understands just why the jolly man himself does it.
“It’s super fulfilling to be part of,” Edge says.
Experience the joy that comes from playing St. Nick! You can sign up to sponsor a child through Fostering Christmas by clicking here!