Give Joy to a Teen for Christmas - Get a Gift in Return from Sky Zone

Gifts for the Forgotten - Grace Klein Community Partnering with Sky Zone Hoover

By Jess Searcy December 11, 2018

Toy, gift and clothing drives for small kids abound this time of year, but what about teenagers in need of a little holiday cheer? Sadly, the big kids are often forgotten. Why is that? Are we expecting that they are old enough to deal with disappointment and hardship? Teens are really just kids in adult-sized shoes.  And Sky Zone Hoover wants to make sure our community's middle and high school kids are NOT forgotten this year. So they are partnering with Grace Klein Community in a "Gifts for the Forgotten" drive, benefiting local teens in need.

But they need YOUR help!

A neon orange Christmas tree brightens the Sky Zone lobby, decorated with red ornaments holding the wishes of local teens living at Family Connection, a temporary shelter for homeless and runaway teens, and teens dealing with family crisis. When you pick out an ornament from the tree and bring that item back for donation, you will be fulfilling the wish of specific named child, a local child, who may otherwise be forgotten this Christmas. That's what is super important to Sky Zone, says Lisa Guarino. "It's for the kids right here in our community. The donations don't get packed up and go somewhere else."

"It's for the kids right here in our community. The donations don't get packed up and go somewhere else." -- Lisa Guarino of Sky Zone Hoover

In return for donating to the "Gifts for the Forgotten" drive, Sky Zone will give you a 30 minute jump pass to enjoy the park when you drop off your item, to use whenever you like. Donations collected at Sky Zone Hoover will be delivered to the teens at Family Connection just in time for Christmas.

Let's help these local teens hold on to the magic and joy of the season just a little longer!

Rachael Cannon (L) of Grace Klein Community and Samantha Longgrear of Sky Zone show us the Sky Zone Christmas tree. Each red ornament holds the wish of a local teen in need.

How Can I Help With Gifts for the Forgotten?

Here's how you can help Sky Zone's "Gifts for the Forgotten" mission:

1. Stop by Sky Zone Hoover and select one or more wish ornaments from the orange Christmas tree

2. Go shopping for your chosen items.

3. Return items back to Sky Zone by the end of the day on December 18th and get a half-hour jump pass (in addition to lots of warm fuzzies for a good deed well done).

More About Grace Klein Community

We met up with Rachael Cannon of Grace Klein Community to find out more about what exactly this community organization does. 

Food Pantry

Amazingly, this organization, with a staff of just five, feeds 10 THOUSAND people a month with donations of "rescued food." What exactly is "rescued food?" According to Cannon, it is all good food that may be close to expiration. All things that would otherwise go to waste if it was not feeding people in the community. Therefore, it is being rescued from the trash. They have lots of fresh fruit and vegetables available.

Because it is rescued food that needs to be utilized, there is no shame in anyone coming to get food from the pantry, whether you truly need it or not. In fact, says Cannon, "we ask that people take enough to share with their neighbors... we're all about getting people to build relationships in the community."

"If a family can save money by rescuing food from our pantry, perhaps they can rebudget that money toward other needs in their household," says Cannon.

Give and Take Share Room

Grace Klein Community also has "give and take share room," where you can drop off items you don't need anymore and take what you do need in exchange.

Utilizing Grace Klein Community as a Resource

GKC has a trade market on the "What's App" app where staff post pictures of items they have available. If you would like to be a part of this, just send them a Facebook message with your phone number and ask to be added to the app.

Open House and FREE Lunch Event

Stop by the GKC office on December 18th, 11 am - 2 pm, and get some FREE lunch from Long Horn Steakhouse, find out how your family fits into the community (volunteer opps even for families with small children) and do some last minute shopping!

Sky Zone Hoover is a proud Macaroni Kid South Birmingham Major Site Sponsor!

Please tell them we sent you, and thank you for supporting this FREE community resource!

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Macaroni Kid South Birmingham is a free weekly e-newsletter and website focused on fun family events and things to do with kids in the South Birmingham region. We gather together all kinds of local family events and activities each week, and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more. We proudly serve families in downtown Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, the Oak Mountain and 280 area, Helena and Alabaster.