NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Two Nacogdoches women run a non-profit aimed at fulfilling the needs of local children in foster care.
Impact Nac was born four years out of an effort to make sure that the more than 200 children living in foster care in Nacogdoches have a special gift to open for Christmas.
Julia Jones home is the Impact Nacogdoches headquarters, warehouse, distribution center and the North Pole at Christmas time where the team helps put a smile on a child's face during the holidays and this years Christmas operation is in full swing.
"We collect things all year long and save it in our warehouse which is my garage and our distribution center is my guest bedroom," said Jones.
They create a tag for every foster child and hang them on Christmas trees in Nacogdoches businesses like: Cotton Patch Cafe, 20/20 Eye Care, Pinecreek, Holly Springs Church and Impact Cowboy Church.
"Each of these cards is a child that's got wishes and dreams and desires like every other child. They just want to be normal and we want you to help us," said Jones.
At least 80 tags still hang on trees this season waiting for someone's kindness.
All Christmas gifts purchased by the public for the kids (by picking a tag from a tree at a business) are due back to the place that the tag was picked up by Sunday, December 15, 2013. Impact Nac will host a holiday party for the kids in foster care on December 19th where Santa will visit and the children will receive their special gifts.
But Impact Nac's mission goes beyond just making Christmas possible for kids in foster care.
"All year long when a child comes into foster care the foster parent will call us and say I've got 2 little boys. I've got nothing. That's normal when a child comes into care. They don't have backpacks, shoes, school supplies, underwear, shirts, jeans…so we go to our distribution center which is our bedroom and we pull the sizes that-that child needs, shoes if we have them in that size. Everything is depending on if we have it. We put it in a bag, not a trash bag but a gift bag and give it to the foster parent to give to the child," said Jones. "Whatever it takes we just do it."
Most of the items in the warehouse come from garage sale leftovers.
"We are shamelessly begging as we go around to the garage sales and say here's our car and say if you have any leftovers we'll be glad to come and get it," said Jones.
And the pair works around the clock to make things happen, if it means picking up donations of clothes left over from a garage sale or bringing a bag of clothes to a foster child's home or even hosting their own garage sale to raise funds to buy things that the kids need.
"If we can use it for the children or the foster families then we give it to them and if not we accumulate I in the other corner of my warehouse and we'll have a fundraiser sale 2 or 3 times a year as needed and then we use the money raised from the sale to buy things," said Jones.
And the ladies of Impact Nac live for moments like this…
"A young man that came into care was given a new pair of shoes that light up and he put them on his feet as soon as he got them and he goes
There are still plenty of tags left on trees and Impact Nac hopes the public will help them fill all the wish lists this year and in the future.
Impact Nac is a non-profit 501c3. Donations (including monetary) are tax deductable and a receipt can be provided.