The Association of U S West Retirees



Needy family receives a very merry Christmas

Bismarck Tribune

Steve Wallick

December 21, 2009


 (The Tribune asked readers to submit stories about “Christmas angels,” someone who had been kind or helpful to them. Katie Krukenberg wanted to share this story.)

I am a school social worker for Bismarck Public Schools and have encountered a whole group of “Christmas angels” this year!

I was working with a family who has had tough circumstances. The school was given all of the decorated Christmas trees from the Pride fundraiser at the Kirkwood Mall to give to families who needed them.

I gave one to this family, who were very thankful for such a beautiful tree. We wrote a thank you note to Qwest, the agency that had decorated the tree for the fundraiser.

Shortly after this, I was contacted by someone at Qwest who said that she had been touched by the thank you and was hoping to do more for the family, and would plan to make blankets, but wondered if there was anything else they’d like for Christmas.

I spoke to the dad, who was so surprised but so grateful that a stranger would make such an offer. We put together a wish list, which was easy to do as the family had so little, including no furniture or beds for the three children, and the father had been hand-washing clothes each night and hanging them to dry.

I was then contacted by the same person who said that others at her agency wanted to participate as well, and that the family could plan for a very merry Christmas this year.

I then began receiving e-mails from other people at other businesses, a church group, and someone from one of the other schools who had been forwarded some of my previous e-mails, and they were also hoping to help.

The children in this family were given brand new winter coats, snow pants, hats and mittens, and also beautiful Christmas dresses, shoes, tights and necklaces to wear to their school Christmas parties.

The real event, though, was Sunday, when I and representatives from each of the involved agencies met at the family’s home to deliver couches, an entertainment stand and TV, a kitchen table and chairs, a washer and dryer, beds and new bedding for each of the family members, clothes, toys, dishes, pots and pans and all kinds of other kitchen items, diapers, gift cards for groceries, personal hygiene items, boxes of food, money to fill in any gaps, and many, many other items, all of which have been donated by the caring people from these different groups.

And it doesn’t end there — someone from Qwest also made arrangements for a family member who plays Santa to stop by the family’s home on Christmas Eve and deliver some gifts.

I have no doubt that this will be a very happy Christmas, and simply being a part of this Christmas miracle has changed my life as well.