Published December 3, 2020 at 6:30pm
Story and photos by Jan Osborn.
The holidays can be a difficult time, especially for children living in the aftermath of criminal child abuse. Each year, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) brings a smile to their clients’ faces through their annual Holiday of Hope program where they provide nearly 2,000 children with gifts.
This year, community volunteer Bursley Hoefer had an idea: “With serving hearts, let’s combine some holiday outdoor tennis fun and provide toys and gifts for the child abuse victims served by DCAC.” Bursley reached out to her tennis buddies and the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. On Wednesday, December 1, twenty-five women braved the wind, the rain and finally, a little sunshine to raise awareness for DCAC and gathered over 60 items (toys, books, pajamas, cash and gift cards) to donate to the children.
With 2020 bringing never-before-seen hardships to families, DCAC is seeing more need than ever. Leila Bergquist, Development Officer, DCAC says, “Shelter in place orders took vulnerable children away from their teachers and mandated reporters, resulting in an almost 50% decrease in reports of suspected child abuse in Dallas County than during the same time last year. Homes that were already in crisis or on the verge were pushed to their breaking point, putting thousands of children in grave danger and without access to safe adults.”
The donation of toys was delivered to DCAC and added to their holiday store. There is still time to participate in the gift-giving. You can drop off new, unwrapped gifts or toys to DCAC or click here to DCAC’s online wish list. And if shopping isn’t your thing, you can make a direct donation to DCAC at dcac.org/getinvolved/holiday-of-hope.