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A Conversation about Holiday Helpings with Lauren Taylor

Our community members are in deep need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many low-income families are struggling with employment, food security, and mental health. The holiday season is here, but celebrating with family and friends may not be a priority for everyone. Holiday Helpings this year is about turning tradition into progress, we’re providing the necessary tools for people to make their own decisions. This year Lauren Taylor, Representative Payee Benefits Coordinator, created a classy page to help raise funds for Holiday Helpings. We got the chance to speak with Lauren about her participation this year.

Why do you participate in Holiday Helpings each year?

LT: I’ve been at Bread for the City for almost 10 years and I participate in our Holiday Helpings campaign every year. I have seen first hand how important this is to our clients. It’s wonderful that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the holidays and don’t have to worry about the cost. In past years, we would have families come to the food pantry and it was nice seeing them get their turkey and the joy it brings to them. I always want to raise money for something that is helpful. I created my classy page last week and I already have a few donations. I always appropriate support from my family and friends.

What makes Holiday Helpings special specifically this year?

LT: This year it’s hard for people to not spend time with their families. Having money to buy a nice holiday meal to share with their immediate family can bring some sense of normalcy and comfort to the holidays even though you might not be able to spend time with everyone. I think it’s awesome that we’re able to help people by giving them that one thing that could help them get by this year.

This year, we have given our community members a $50 gift card that will give them the opportunity to either purchase their holiday meal or get something that might be more important. How do you feel about that?

LT: I think it’s really important, Bread for the City always tries to give its clients the opportunity to make choices for themselves. This year is totally different from how things were before and families might not need a turkey, they may rather buy something else that’s needed. I am really glad that we are able to pivot and change up Holiday Helpings so people can have the opportunity to make their own decisions.

How do you get people to donate to your Classy page?

LT: I normally post it on social media, specifically my Facebook and my Instagram. I always try to create a personal connection, such as talking about my role at Bread for the City and explain the impact this program has on our clients.

Why is it important for people to contribute to Holiday Helpings?

LT: It’s important for families who need a holiday meal or might need to use their gift cards for something more important because many people are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems like it’s important to the donors because they want to do something that’s helpful and make a difference in their community.

How does it make you feel to participate in something important for our communities?

LT: I feel happy to contribute. I feel a strong sense of community around my co-workers and with our volunteers and our clients. It’s really nice to feel that sense of togetherness and being able to support each other.

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