Manantial Christmas Program: How to Help

Last month, we introduced you to an amazing group of Iowa City moms of kids with special needs, known as “Manantial“.  As promised, we are going to share with you their wonderful Christmas program, and how you can help.

When the ladies at Manantial told me about this special Christmas program, I was literally brought to tears.  Think of it as the Angel Tree program, with a special twist.  Here’s how it works:  many of the moms involved with this group are living in low-income families, and many of them are residents of nearby mobile-home parks.  As a special treat, Manantial hosts an annual Christmas party for all of the residents of the parks, complete with decorations, crafts, and a rousing game of Bingo!

But, that’s not all.  In the weeks (months) leading up to this fun event, the dedicated women of Manantial are out getting donations (both monetary and otherwise) to make this Christmas the best one these families have ever had.  In typical Angel Tree fashion, the donations are collected based on specific “wishes” of the families, in particular the children.  However, on the night of the event, there is no big show, no display of the donations, and no handing out of gifts.

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Instead, all of the gifts are divided up (according to each family’s size and “wishes”), and each family goes home with a giant black garbage bag.  No one can see into the bag, no one can compare what they got to what someone else’s family got, and the sweetest part of all?  The ladies at Manantial encourage the parents to choose how to give the gifts to their families.  As they told me about last year’s event, my heart smiled at the thought: some of the families, they told me, were ripping into the bags as they walked out of the party (how fun!) and others took their bags home quietly, where the parents wrapped up the gifts after their little ones went to sleep.  What a beautiful, beautiful thing.

If we can do nothing more with this blog, then we would like to help local moms and families in whatever ways that we can.  So, with your help, we would love to make this year’s Christmas program even better than the last!  Here’s how you can help:r christmas 4

1. Bring donations to the Moms Night Out on November 18th.  This is a quick and easy way to help these families; no donation is too small, and honestly these families could use just about anything.  While you’re browsing the dollar section at Target, pick up a couple pairs of socks or some cute stuffed animals and throw them in your purse before you come to the event.  Or when you’re making your family dinner this week, pull out some of the cans/boxes of food and set them aside for one of these families.  Or, if your heart so leads you, feel free to bring gift cards or monetary donations as well. All donations will be given directly to Manantial after the event.

2. Find out their “wish lists”.  If you would like to help in a more personal way, please feel free to contact Manantial and ask about specific lists that the families have created.  No matter what the big black bags hold, these families will be overjoyed; but just imagine if they open it and find that one thing that they really wanted this year.  For details on the wish lists, please contact Dayrin at [email protected].

3. Spread the word about this wonderful event.  If you know friends and family, or church members or neighbors, who might be interested in helping as well, please spread the word about Manantial and the beautiful things they are doing for families in our community.  Tell them to “like” Manantial on Facebook, and follow their future events as well.


**This year’s Christmas program is scheduled for December 13th at 11am, at the Church of Nazarene (1035 Wade Street).  The ladies of Manantial are very excited about this special day, and we at the Iowa City Moms Blog are excited to help in any way that we can!  We look forward to presenting them with bunches of donations after our Moms Night Out!  Thank you all so much for your support of these inspiring local moms!**

Iowa City Moms Blog
At Iowa City Moms Blog we’re a group of local moms who are passionate about connecting other moms to one another and to our community! Whether you’re an experienced mom, a newbie, expecting, or aspiring to be a mom someday, this blog is for you! Join us as we navigate this journey that is motherhood in the Iowa City area!


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