About me… where do I start? I’m Kate. Typically referred to as Crazy Kate (a nickname given when I was little and has managed to stick), often paired with an outgoing, energetic, slightly louder than others, but passionate about what’s important to me. I am originally from what seemed like the smallest town in Pennsylvania and have since transplanted down to Mooresville, North Carolina, twelve years ago.
My passion has ALWAYS been helping others. Now, I know you are probably thinking, “Why in the heck would you name a non-profit around a holiday?” And the answer is simple: Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. As a child, some of my favorite memories are when we would wake up early on the weekend to bake Christmas cookies with my family, while listening to Elvis’ Christmas album, blaring on the radio. In fact, Elvis sang it best, “Why can’t every day be like Christmas? Why can’t this feeling go on endlessly?
For if every day could be just like Christmas, what a wonderful world it would be.”
Listening to Elvis, this idea of continuing the spirit of Christmas throughout the whole year, really lit a fire within for me to find ways to be able to give back to others and bring joy during times of others' struggles. I’ll never forget the first time I really decided that Mission Christmas could be a “thing” one day. I was scrolling through Facebook and a co-worker had posted that a distant relative that was older had taken over custody of two younger children due to some unfortunate circumstances involving the parents. The family members weren’t in a financial situation to be able to provide Christmas for the two young children, as they were struggling to figure out how to cover the basic necessities. The post was asking if anyone would like to donate a toy or clothing for the children for Christmas.
As I read the post, I was compelled to help; to find a way to allow these two children to have the same joy I had as a child.
I messaged my co-worker and asked her to take down the post and to send over the information on the children (clothing sizes, shoe size, what their favorite tv characters are, etc). That year I adopted two children for Christmas that I had never met in my life. I spent the next 20 days scouring every Black Friday sale and rounding up all the basic necessities, as well as toys that would make any child excited. I scheduled with my co-worker to drop off the gifts with the grandparents, and we drove out at night after the children went to sleep on Christmas Eve. Let me say this… I was not prepared for the reaction from the grandparents. They both started crying and thanking me for “saving Christmas,” a thought that not one time had crossed my mind while I was purchasing gifts.
That feeling, at that moment, is one that I’ll hold on to forever. Something so simple. So easy. Yet impacted this family more than I could imagine, and obviously impacted me and stemmed the beginning of Mission Christmas.
I am a sucker for giving. I will spend my last dollar to purchase something for someone else before I buy something for myself. It’s just who I am as a person. Fortunately, I have made some AMAZING friends over the years who share the same ideals, and have helped to host events and raise money to continue to grow and expand our efforts on giving back. This is my passion. This is my calling. This is what drives me as a person to be better every single day.
I can’t thank everyone enough for the support that’s been shown already. It truly means the world to me. Hopefully, Mission Christmas will be able to continue to grow and spread that Christmas spirit all year long. After all, who doesn’t love jamming out to Christmas music every day?