Monday, January 21, 2008

BPT Adopts a Family for the Holidays

The Belles Performance Team is Colorado's only independent professional dance team. This non profit organization performs for over 1.5 million people and donates over 2250 hours to the community each year. With an average of 12 ladies per season, each member donates over 94 hours each 6 month season on top of 2 practices per week and an average of 4 performances per month!

The BPT and their partners reached out to a very special family this past holiday season to make all their Christmas wishes come true. Wendy Kraus, BPT Coach and Big Brother & Big Sisters of Colorado Match Coordinator, received a very brave and unselfish phone call from a single mother reaching out for some holiday assistance for her 4 children. Her story:

The Smiths (name has been changed to protect the privacy of the family) are a very close family that show love and respect to each other on a daily basis. Jane (name has been changed) their mother, has been forced to work two jobs ever since their biological father was incarcerated for domestic violence among many other things. Recently the family suffered a set back when she was laid-off from her second job. The kids understand the situation and have accepted the fact that Christmas will be celebrated without any gifts, decorations, or a large family meal. This reality was hard at first, but they have all stood behind her and understood that she tried.

When Wendy heard this story, it hit her hard and she immediately started to think of ways to help. Denver is a great city where there are many opportunities to get help through places like the United way, various church organizations, and the Denver Rescue Mission. However, these opportunities are on a first come first serve basis and the resources are limited on how many families qualify to get the help they need. She then started talking with Cher Fox, BPT Director, about this family and they agreed that this would be an amazing way for the BPT to give back to the community on a personal level. It would be a chance to broaden their purpose in the community and challenge them to make a difference outside of what they do on an entertainment level.

Wendy knew that often times it is hard to find the ability to give when you are burdened with your own family issues and financial obligations for the holidays. However, when sharing the burden with others and coming together as a collective group, great things can be accomplished. Anything they could give to this family would be greatly appreciated and cherished. She challenged the BPT to get creative and help make this happen together as a team for this very deserving family.

The team rallied over a one week period to come up for the following items for the family:

A complete holiday meal - turkey, pie, vegetables, jello, potatoe casserole, hot chocolate, gravy, and stuffing

A complete Christmas package - tree, decorations, lights, tree stand, tree skirt, candy canes and star top

Gifts for the mom: Sweaters, Purse, Pants, Jackets, Jewelry, Candle Set, Spa Bath and Feet Sets

Gifts for the teenage daughter: Coat, Jacket, 4 shirts, 2 pairs shoes, 2 purses, Sweatshirt, Spa Bath and Feet Sets, Jewelry

Gifts for the teenage boys: X-Box, 3 Games for X-Box, 2 Adidas basketball bags, 2 video game floor chairs, and 4 square balls

The family also received from BPT partners:

Hot Shots Photography - Family Sitting and Portrait Package

Aesthetic Nurse Specialists - Sugar Body Scrub, Facial Gift Certificate, and Sanitas Product Samples

Rocky Mountain Rollergirls - Hats for the children

BPT Leadership, Director Cher Fox and Coaches Wendy Kraus and Erica Hopkins, delivered the holiday package to the Smiths on Saturday, December 15th. "Jane was very grateful, thanking us and fighting back the tears in her eyes, being strong for her family," shares Cher. "The family immediately setup the tree and couldn't believe the continued unloading of items from 2 full delivery vehicles. It was a proud moment for the BPT to do something so impactful this holiday season. I also want to thank our partners who made last minute donations to really round out this family's Christmas. We couldn't have made such an incredible difference to this family's holiday season without all the dancers and our organization's partners."