Woodbourne: Donated in 1926, the main building was once the summer home of philanthropist Enoch Pratt.
Maybe it’s the weather – we had to turn our air conditioner back on this week. Or, it could be the landscaping – my yard is ablaze with pink roses that just bloomed. Or it could be that in the past two days, the leaves on the trees have finally begun to fall. Whichever it is – I got a shock when I tried to make an appointment for hair coloring for the following Saturday. “Sorry, we’ll be closed” - Closed? But why? “It’s Christmas Eve.”
I almost fainted. Surely, Christmas wasn’t next week? I don’t know how it crept up on me, but it did. Next week? Hopefully, you are better prepared than I am for this holiday season. One other missing clue that Christmas was just around the corner was I hadn’t heard from Meg of Pigtown Design who works at Woodbourne. For the past two years we have written a story about donations for Woodbourne, but it wasn’t until yesterday that Meg finally contacted me to say that the video had gone live.
Woodbourne located in Baltimore, was founded in 1798 to assist children who had suffered in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. Today, Woodbourne is a refuge for children and teenagers who need either guidance or a home. Those referred to Woodbourne by city and state agencies have nowhere left to go for help. These extreme cases are amongst the most difficult to treat. They might have severe mental health issues, they might be traumatized by physical or mental abuse, or they might be suffering from drug addiction or they might come from homes where drug abuse is rampant. Some youths seeking treatment at Woodbourne actually live there, hoping to reclaim their lives through the excellent treatment and education programs Woodbourne offers.
Each Christmas, these youth are videotaped by a professional – telling what they wish for Christmas. Their wishes are a combination of their hopes and dreams for the season, along with a plea for a particular gift. Meg, along with others who work at Woodbourne, take these donations and go shopping – hoping to fulfill their wish.
This year, the children produced the video themselves – which was the cause for the delay. I realize that everyone is busy and rushing around, but I ask that you please take the time to watch this short video and if you desire to make a donation to Woodbourne. Each and every penny raised by this video goes directly towards purchasing a gift for these young people who will not otherwise receive a gift.
Their requests are simple, most ask for what our own children have and take for granted. One child asks for a remote control helicopter, another wants a cell phone, one asks for a few CDs, while one teen wants a video game. One teenaged girl asks for a cell phone…and her family. Hopefully Woodbourne will receive enough funds to grant each child one wish.
There are more requests not shown on the video: one of the children asks for shoe-strings – not regular shoe strings, but the fat, colorful kind that teenagers put in their sneakers. Many asked for batteries so they can play their hand-held games. And as it is each year, a popular request is colored pens and pencils and sketch pads.
This is the third year I have shown the Woodbourne video, and I realize that times are hard right now with our bad economy. Asking for a donation probably isn’t a very popular thing to do. But, if you are able to “spare a dime” – I know these young people will truly appreciate your generosity and caring spirit. You are their only chance at having just a small glimpse of the Christmas that we all share with our families.
Thank you so very much for considering making a donation.