SEFCU donating more than $200,000 worth of gifts to people in need

Tom Schreck, the communications director for Wildwood Programs, still remembers the moment when one of the people they serve got the Christmas gift he was dreaming of.

"One of our older gentlemen really wanted a particular kind of scarf and coat. When that came in, his face lit up. You could tell he was so thrilled he was going to be warm and taken care of for that season," Schreck said.

The special gift came from SEFCU’s Holiday Sharing Program, which helps make sure people in need get something special under the tree. Wildwood serves adults and children with developmental disabilities, and Schreck says for many of the people they serve, the gifts are life changing.

"For many of them, who maybe don’t have families or distanced families, gifts really make an impact," he explained.

This year, SEFCU is marking the 30th year of its Holiday Sharing Program by raising more than $200,000 to purchase necessities like socks and underwear, along with special gifts like bikes, markers, and science kits for people and children in need.

"This is the holiday season," said Michael Castellana. "We want to bring smiles, we want to bring joy, and most of all, we want to bring hope to those kids and their families."

While the gifts may be life-changing for the recipients, Castellana says the program also leaves its mark on employees who help raise money for the gifts each year.

"It allows us to put all the distractions, and all the stress and the strain that is in our lives today, it allows us to forget that, maybe just for a brief moment, and be a kid again," he said.