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Once in their shoes, now giving back this Christmas

Christian Vera provided Christmas for a family in need through SVdP's Adopt-a-Family program

In between her fiery segments on the nationally syndicated show, “Right This Minute,” and the plethora of meetings and interviews a busy working journalist has to take part in, Christian Vera still finds time for helping her community through St. Vincent de Paul.  

“Since the moment I woke up, I was, ‘Go, go, go.’ I have to do this, I have to take this call, I have to then go on set,” Christian said. “I did call my bosses and I said, ‘Guys, I need to leave by a certain time today.’” 

She was setting time aside to participate in SVdP’s Adopt-a-Family program, which gives families, businesses and community groups an opportunity to “adopt” a family for Christmas by giving the family and each of its children presents and a special meal.  

Last year, Christian donated presents to a family with eight kids. When she got to their residence, the children were already waiting for her in the front yard, and she greeted them with a warm, “Hola, como estan?” 

Christian sat down with many of the kids and talked with them, just trying to get to know them and get a sense of how their life is. She does this because she can relate to growing up in difficult situations. 

“I remember being a kid that had very little, and Christmas was where I didn’t get what I wanted!” she said. “But you never understood why or the hardships your parents are going through until you’re older and you realize how difficult it is to care for a family, especially during Christmas time when you barely have enough to feed your family.” 

It is these experiences in her childhood that fuel her desire to make a difference in other kids’ lives. 

“Now that I am doing well and have been blessed with so much, it’s a no-brainer to me to get involved and give back.” 

Christian gathered all the presents together and handed them out to each of the kids. They had submitted a list of things they wanted for Christmas, so Christian knew just what they wanted.  

As each child opened up their present, their face lit up or gawked in amazement at actually holding their new possession in their hands.  

Christian said she feels a knot grow in her throat and she holds back her tears as she sees the kids play with their new toys. “When you’ve been in their shoes, you know what it feels like.” 

Christian greatly values her time with SVdP and in the Adopt-a-Family program. 

“Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “There was never a moment where I would have chosen to do differently.”  

How you can help

Donate to support grocery and thrift store gift cards for this year's adopted families!