MANCHESTER, NH — In this season of giving there are so many unmet needs, and so many organizations out making a difference in the community.
A partnership between a small Goffstown-based mom-centric homegrown charity, Little Elves of NH, and Quirk Automotive will once again make holiday dreams come true for local kids.
Little Elves of NH is a non-profit, mom-volunteer-run Facebook group that utilizes the social media platform to get families in need anonymously connected to “adopters” who get to choose who they would like to buy for to help supplement the holiday gift load.
Last year during the holidays, Quirk Kia of Manchester store employees were able to “adopt” and donate to 30 kids in the surrounding the Manchester area. This year, all of Kia’s New Hampshire store employees participated and more than have of those identified by Little Elves NH, fulfilling the organization’s wish list before December.
According to Melissa Greenwalt, one of the founding moms, meet-ups are arranged and overseen by volunteer administrators and all families receiving help get their supply of gifts by a guaranteed date. The group also offers an Amazon wish list that allows individuals located outside the New Hampshire area to help if they so desire, or if an individual does not have the means to adopt a family, they can still help by purchasing gifts in their price range from the list.
On top of the numerous family adoptions, toy donations collected from the wish list are given to either a local hospital or local toy drive. The Little Elves of NH have also arranged fill-the-bag back-to-school supply drives, holiday meal donations, and meet Santa events.
Says Greenwalt, “We all are raising families of our own but find time knowing the struggles of parenthood, especially during the holidays, the pressure, how money issues can be unexpected, but also, that parents still want the best for their kids, that these kids deserve that holiday magic just like any other, and that these families are our friends and neighbors.”
In preparation for the gift drive, Little Elves NH post anonymous bios of each family with toy/clothing requests for each child.
“We have been so successful, meeting and exceeding our family lists each year because our adopters get a chance to have a connection to their charity efforts. They get to pick out a family whose story may resonate with their own concerns or they may find children who are into what they love to shop for and they ‘adopt’ them for the holiday; it isn’t just a toy drive, the adopters get to take responsibility for a family and get to take pride in fulfilling the child’s wishes while having some fun, too,” Greenwalt says.
With the combined efforts from local organizations like Quirk Autos, along with fellow moms, Greenwalt says this kind of charitable act is more tangible and it weaves connections through the community.
“When someone knows they helped a family, and that family knows there are people right in their own backyard who took on personal care for their holiday wellbeing, the positive experience leaves a lasting impression in both adoptees and adopters,” Greenwalt says. “And when local businesses team with the Little Elves of New Hampshire it not only helps strengthen the community ties, it allows the thousands of people that are active within the group see the who is working to help families in distress in their area, which fosters a desire to support those businesses.”
About Little Elves NH
In 2015, Mandi Reed and Melissa Greenwalt were in a small moms group when one of the group members revealed she may not be able to purchase Christmas presents that year. They talked privately and came up with an idea to try and help their fellow mom, and what they thought would be a handful of families in need in the Goffstown area. Little did they know that we would end up helping 127 families throughout New Hampshire with an additional toy bundle to donate to a hospital from an Amazon wishlist they added! Four years later Reed and Greenwalt continue their annual operation with a limit of 125 families, as they run the entire operation themselves with help from a few volunteer moms. Find them on Facebook.