Northborough – For some Northborough residents, giving back to others is second nature. For one local mom, Julie Stanwood, supplying the needs of the underprivileged is a personal crusade.
Most recently, Stanwood enlisted the help of her friend Tess Murphy to organize a holiday party for local Families in Transition (FIT), an organization that helps homeless families seeking to regain their footing.
When asked about her drive to continually help those in need, Stanwood echoes the words of Mother Teresa who once said, “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”
“It is bad enough that these young children have no home and no place to play, most struggling for daily essentials. They do not need to think that Santa does not love them. No child should ever feel unloved,” said Stanwood.
Together, Stanwood and Murphy set out to garner donations from local businesses and organizations. The outpouring of generosity they received exceeded all of their expectations. The list of donors includes but is not limited to: Charming Charlie's, Supercuts, Northborough Helping Hands Association, Northborough Moms and Tots, Algonquin Regional High School Student Council, Northborough Neighborhood Brigade, Northborough's Tall Pines Neighborhood, Northborough Patrolman's Association, Northborough Junior Woman's Club, United Methodist Church, St. Bernadette Church and numerous individual Secret Santas.
The FIT holiday party took place on Dec. 18 at the Northborough Town Hall. Twenty-eight families, an estimated 90 people, filled the hall. There were songs and crafts for the kids including cookie decorating and the chance to make a holiday frame. Santa made a special guest appearance, bringing a gift for each child. He also posed for pictures to be put in the frames they had made.
All families received a gift bag complete with essentials such as socks, mittens and shampoo as well as numerous gift cards.
“To be able to do this for needy families (for Christmas) is a true blessing. I have five children, and the thought of young children missing out on the magic of Christmas due to their financial situation is not ok with me,” said Stanwood. “It's amazing that something so simple, something that we take for granted, can bring such joy.”