A Family Forever Changed: This is What Happens When We All Come Together

For “Ms. S” and her three children, December 17th of this year was the fulfillment of a Christmas miracle. But it wouldn’t have happened without the generosity of others and the support of people like you.

Every year, Beyond Housing runs a gift-giving program called “Holiday Friends” that invites St. Louisans to adopt one of the many families in need for the holidays. The program can be a lifesaver for families living in difficult financial circumstances, and also helps put something under the tree for families who otherwise would have nothing.

For one of these families, it proved to be a life-changer. Recently, one of Beyond Housing’s Community Health Workers discovered that “Ms. S” and her three children were existing in deplorable living conditions. The home that they were renting was filled with mold and sewage backup. The environment was not only unsafe, it posed a serious health risk to two of the children who suffer from chronic asthma.

Upon learning of the family’s situation, our Senior Director of Housing, Corey Dickens, quickly identified a home for the family and expedited the process so the family could move in as soon as possible. Arrangements were made; applications were filled out; and our Maintenance Department began preparing the home so the family could move in as soon as possible.

A move-in date was set for December 17th and the family was told to begin packing. But this is where the story gets even better.

As the home was being prepared, we reached out to our friends Tim Ezell, at Fox 2, and Brian Owens, of Life Arts. Tim and Brian spread the word through their networks and within a short time, many other organizations and individuals wanted to get involved.

On December 17th, Ms. S and her family knew they would be moving into their new home. But when walked through the front door, they were greeted with a surprise that surpassed anything they had ever imaged.

Thanks to the generosity of others, the home was completely furnished with brand new furniture, as well as rugs, sheets, towels, and a new TV. The refrigerator and cupboards were stocked with food, and cabinets were stocked with dishware, cookware, and utensils. There were new clothes for every member of the family and toys for the kids. No detail was overlooked, from the snow shovel to the shower curtain, the Christmas decorations, and even a savings account with money for future groceries and needs.

In that one instant, four lives were forever changed. Going forward, our Community Health Workers, Housing Resource Coordinator, and Family Engagement Liaison will ensure that this is just the beginning of a lasting transformation for this family.

This Saturday, December 21 at 8:30am on Fox 2, Tim Ezell will be featuring Ms. S and her family’s story.
You can also see the story on The Thread YouTube channel.

It’s a great example of why we do this work and what can happen when we all come together. None of this would’ve happened without the generosity of everyone mentioned below, and everyone who supports the work of Beyond Housing.

Happy holidays.

Thank you to everyone who gave Ms. S and her family the best Christmas ever: 


Stash Home


Stash Home

Area rugs

The Thread & Beyond Housing

Sheets, comforters, blankets

The Thread

Bathroom towels, shower curtain

Kay O’Neill, The Thread Admin


We Ones

Savings account

M1 Bank

Contributions to Savings Account

The Thread, Gary and Carole Fears, Brian Owens, Terry Hurley & Jill Larson, We Ones, Life Arts

Food – fridge and pantry
Pots & Pans, Baking Dishes
Dinnerware and Silverware
Cooking Utensils
Dish Drying Rack
Snow shovel and ice melt

We Ones

New clothes, coats

Spot Content Studio

Christmas decorations

M1 Bank


City of Pagedale & Pagedale Police Department

Laptop & Microsoft Office

Bailey & Company

Toys for the children

Beyond Housing, Enterprise Bank

Golden tickets to the Polar Express
Thurs the 19th at 8:30pm
Tickets for The St Louis Wheel

Union Station

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