On Christmas morning, gifts under the Brumfield family tree won’t come from family members or Santa but will be given by generous strangers.
Be the Kind, a charity organization, is organizing a drive to collect gifts for its “adopted family,” which includes Chris Brumfield and eight grandchildren she cares for, said Lisa Greene, the Be the Kind event organizer.
Greene said the Brumfields are the first family the organization has adopted since it started in February. The charity has given care packages to homeless people and paired UF students with low-income families in the area.
“Each month we try to find something to do in the community,” Greene said. “Some way to spread positivity in the community.”
The charity announced it would provide gifts for the family, which includes children ranging from 1 year old to 13 years old, in November and asked donors to send in toys to organizers.
Be the Kind created an online sign-up sheet for members to commit to gifting certain items, said Erin Peterson, a Be the Kind member. Peterson, who is wrapping gifts for the family, plans to donate Nerf guns, a board game and holiday treats she plans to bake herself.
“Donating to the cause makes me feel grateful for every single thing I have in my own life,” she said.
The children sent in a wish list and asked for toy trucks, nail polish, clothes and jewelry-making kits.
Samuel, 3, only wants Transformers.
“He loves them Transformers,” Chris Brumfield said. “He’s always asking me to buy him some.”
Brumfield made a wish list for herself and requested cleaning supplies and other household items. But, Greene and other members of Be the Kind plan to buy gifts the whole family can enjoy.
“We want to make sure she’s getting to celebrate, too,” Greene said. “That she gets to feel special, too.”
Brumfield, who has 16 grandchildren total, said she is thankful for the upcoming Christmas because her youngest daughter, and four other grandchildren, will be home. She said she hasn’t seen them since 2012.
“Just to see my grandkids and see the smiles on their faces and God giving me life, health and my strength,” Brumfield said. “That’s all I can ask for Christmas.”
Besides celebrating new gifts and toys, Brumfield said the family will be together for Brumfield’s daughter’s birthday, Samuel’s fourth birthday and, of course, Christmas.
“I’m grateful,” Brumfield said. “I’m grateful forever.”