Youth Villages seeks donors for Holiday Heroes program

Stock image by Roberto Nickson (@g) via

About 100 children live at Youth Villages in Bartlett, and each year the Holiday Heroes program helps to make their Christmas a little brighter. Since 1993, the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis members have made it their tradition to provide gifts for children who are going through difficult times.

Individuals, churches, groups or businesses are invited to be “Holiday Heroes” and participate. The children’s holiday party will be Dec. 12 (time to be announced later).

BACC provided a list of guidelines:

  • Access the online form at, or request a form from Kathy Carl at, complete it and return it to her.
  • Look for an email with the child’s information on Nov. 20-21.
  • Shop for your sponsored child with a $100 budget. A Youth Villages spokesman said, “We understand our Heroes are generous spirits, but it is important to the children that gifts are equitable. Try to buy everything on the list. Remember, volume is more important than brand. Keep in mind, it is just as important not to go under $100.”
  • Wrap the gifts and firmly attach a clearly marked tag with the child’s name and cottage. Place all items in a big bag to keep them together and mark the outside of the bag with your child’s name.
  • Bring your wrapped gifts to the Dec. 12 Christmas party at Youth Villages or to the BACC by Monday, Dec. 10.

If attending the party, donors can join their sponsored children as they open their presents. It means a lot to show support when you can attend.

Note that some children will not react in the way you expect. Remember that they often are at Youth Villages because they currently do not fit well with society. Please be patient with them.

Because children may be discharged and new ones added during the holiday period, a BACC staff member will match gifts with a new child who has similar requests if the original child cannot receive them.

If Youth Villages receives more new admissions than it has heroes, the organization will need last-minute heroes. Notify the organization if you are willing to be a last-minute shopper.

Extra gifts not designated for a specific child are also welcomed. Wrap those and attach a tag with appropriate gender and age.