Helping Kids at Christmas: Brantwood Children's Home Needs Gift Donations


By Heather VacLav

Many people are fortunate to wake up Christmas morning with a tree full of presents every year, but sadly it doesn't happen that way for every child.
Brantwood Children's Home is in Montgomery is trying to make a difference in kids' lives, but with more cut to its budget and fewer donors than years past, they need the community's help more than ever this holiday season. The home provides a safe and stable environment for abused, neglected and at-risk children.
While It should be simple for most to separate their wants versus needs, according to Brantwood, it is much more difficult for its kids.

We're used to hearing, well I would like a mattress to sleep on or I would like a coat, those are Kim Herbert, executive director of Brantwood Children's Home. “So we work hard to satisfy those needs to give them what they need and to help them dream of wants that they would like to have, like any other 12 or 13-year old.”

This Christmas a community sponsor can help one of the 32 children and young adults at Brantwood by donating one item, or a fill a child's entire list.

“Any little bit can help, $20 can buy a kid's pair of shoes, can buy a shirt or pair of pants,” said Bill Kennedy, a long time supporter of Brantwood.

Kennedy and his wife Susan have been donating and backing Brantwood for more than 25 years. They say people don't have to give a lot of money, even pocket change makes a difference.

Herbert says the kids, ages 12-20 are used to having Christmas come and go and not have any presents, which is why Brantwood strives so hard to fill that void as their family support system until they are adopted or move on as adults.

To know that someone beyond the Brantwood family cares and loves them enough to give a gift and spend money or to spend their time on them, often can be a first step in that healing process,” Herbert said.

It's a step made every year by longtime supporters like the Kennedy's, who sponsor an annual Christmas party to see the benefits of their kindness in the children's eyes.

We have kids who come back to the Christmas Party, policemen, firemen, school teachers, business folks, it's just good to see them [out] in the community,” Kennedy said. He says over time he and other longtime donors have seen the benefits of giving back to a local charity.

But Christmas is only one part of the kids' lives, Brantwood needs the community's support for more than Christmas gifts, but donations to last well into 2013.

"Some of their lives they never received anything, and if we can help one kid, it makes you feel good,” Kennedy said.

Brantwood accepts all forms of donations, whether in money, gifts or gently used items. To find out more on how to help Brantwood Children's Home, call 334-265-0784, visit their website: