Marshall County member Stacie Laudermilt organizes community events to support the area’s most vulnerable each winter. One year 400 coats and hundreds of other items were collected for Street Moms and Wheeling’s Freeze shelter. Another year Laudermilt organized a Christmas party for several foster children in her neighborhood. These children, survivors of trauma, live in homes with limited incomes. Laudermilt wanted to see some real smiles on those little faces, so she had a plan for a little Christmas magic. Laudermilt found so many people who wanted to help and Santa gave each child a VERY large bag filled with everything you could imagine. Santa’s heart melted when he walked around Christmas caroling with these precious children.
Every year the events are different. “I pray and ask for guidance for what is needed most. I can’t do this alone! Besides a miraculous God, I have a supportive husband and talented volunteers that I am blessed to call my friends. They all have the most pure and generous hearts! This includes the Gatts family and fellow MCEA members. They have even started getting their children involved; their two oldest daughters dressed up as a snowman and an elf for the most recent event,” said Laudermilt.
This year Laudermilt held the Christmas Collection Celebration at the Martins Ferry Park. During the Celebration, hot chocolate was served, the Chrisagis Brothers performed on stage, photos were taken with Santa along with crafts for kids to make jingle necklaces. Some of the items collected were new hats, scarves, socks, and batteries for those living through homelessness. Monetary donations collected were also used to buy Christmas gifts. In addition, the Street Moms reached their goal with one hundred gifts to wrap from the monetary gifts and donated items. Laudermilt then arranged a wrapping party and the Street Moms distributed the Christmas gifts to the less fortunate.
“I have been blessed to have people willing to share their treasure, time, and talent. When their collective energies converge, amazing things happen, and lives are changed! We have the opportunity to remind people how special they are and no matter what their circumstances, they are remembered and loved,” said Laudermilt.