Venita is at the heart of Kids for Christmas. She works tirelessly with the school liaisons to choose the children, make sure we have the right sizes, match the presents up with the appropriate age groups, and shops all year long to prepare for the party!
Kris handles all of our print media - name tags, signs, and so much more. She also oversees the shoe station where the kids get to try on their new pair of shoes with a volunteer, make sure they fit and make any changes that might be needed.
Wendy is our volunteer coordinator. An event the size of Kids for Christmas takes a village. Wendy makes sure everyone is where they're supposed to be so our Christmas party can go off without a hitch!
Since 1983, Kids for Christmas has provided Christmas for 300 local children that might not otherwise have a chance to see Santa, receive a gift, or experience the magic of the season. Teachers from our various local schools help select children between the ages of 4 and 12. We are thrilled to be able to provide each child with pizza, lemonade, and a cookie for lunch. Then upon the exciting arrival of Santa, each child has the opportunity to visit with him and receive a toy. The children also receive a new pair of shoes, three pairs of socks, a sweatshirt, mittens, and a small toy purchased with donations to Kids for Christmas. We are also able to give each child a new book and a t-shirt thanks to donations of those items from organizations in the Tulare County community.
Kids for Christmas started in 1983 when Ann Baptista felt a tug on her heart to get back to the root of the Christmas holiday. The first Kids for Christmas party hosted 75 under-served children in Farmersville hall, complete with food and gifts. Ann felt Christmas was for the kids and discovered through her efforts there were many children in the Tulare County area who would not get to fully enjoy the holiday. Before Ann passed away, her annual Christmas party had grown to 300 children. Financial Credit Network’s involvement in Kids for Christmas started with Frank Cavale purchasing pizza for the annual Christmas party. The company’s involvement grew over the years until 2013 when Financial Credit Network was blessed with the opportunity to continue the event. Now, nearly 40 years from the beginning of Kids for Christmas, Ann’s original mission to bless children in the Tulare County area with a Christmas party is realized every year with the help of our community, teachers, donors, Ann’s family, and volunteers.