By Melissa Hendricks

Christmas at Vera Lloyd

Because of you, boys and girls at Vera Lloyd this holiday season experienced the gift of your generosity and love. Thank you for purchasing gifts for children who are healing from abuse, neglect, abandonment and adjudication while they live at Vera Lloyd’s children’s home in Monticello. Let me tell you a little about Christmas Day at the Barton Home for girls and the Trimble Home for boys, two of the five homes for youth at Vera Lloyd.

Barton Home for girls in foster care 

Clare and Deverick Franklin, house parents, and the eight girls at Barton Home decorated for Christmas weeks ago. The girls received a small gift for each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, they shared hot chocolate and opened one gift before heading to bed.

On Christmas Day, the girls woke up about 7 a.m., came downstairs for hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls and gathered—excited—around the Christmas tree to open gifts. They stayed in their pajamas for the morning festivities. 

They were thrilled to open gifts of clothes, shoes, gift cards, make-up kits and more. They attended church with their house parents. After church, Clare and Deverick prepared steak and potatoes at the girls’ request. They ended the day watching Christmas movies together. 

The girls traveled to Little Rock after Christmas to have lunch at Chili’s and spend gift cards at Park Plaza. 

Trimble Home for boys in foster care 

Brandon and Wendy Williams, house parents, said the boys’ wish lists were all fulfilled. “The boys had a great time and were thrilled to receive gifts they really wanted and needed,” Wendy said. Favorite gifts included clothes, tablet computers and shoes.

A few days before Christmas, Brandon, Wendy and the boys opened board games for a game night. They had hot chocolate, played games and enjoyed a fun family night. 

On Christmas Eve, Brandon and Wendy put gifts under the Christmas tree. The next morning, the boys had breakfast and opened gifts. After they tried on clothes and played with their new games, they had a big lunch of ham, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rolls and pie. 

They, too, traveled to Little Rock over the holidays to spend gift cards on clothes and other items. 

Brandon and Wendy were equally excited to receive gifts for the home, especially a coffee pot—the Trimble Home has not had a coffee pot in recent months. 

Some of the boys and girls at Vera Lloyd had home passes so they could visit family members or family members traveled to Monticello to visit with youth on campus. A grandmother for one of the boys at Trimble Home made a special trip to see her grandson on Christmas Day. 

Love. Caring. Generosity. Christ’s healing love. Thank you for sharing the reason for the season with boys and girls at Vera Lloyd.