City Impact‘s Gifts of Love program was a huge success in 2017, and helped provide gifts for 527 families in Lincoln. Brad Bryan, City Impact founder and development director, stopped by Nelnet’s Lincoln office to thank those who volunteered time and donated gifts.

In the Gifts of Love program’s 21st year, over 1,362 community volunteers spent over 3,864 hours making sure the event ran smoothly. But the success of this event went far beyond statistics.

Donations of time, gifts, and money made sure that people like Gifts of Love shopper Amy could provide holiday memories for her children.

Amy’s family faced a difficult 2017, losing five family members and struggling to pay medical bills for their son Trevor.

Trevor was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHF), a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. In June, a trip to the emergency room stretched the family’s budget to the limit when it was discovered that he would need a heart and liver transplant.

“There just wasn’t going to be a Christmas this year,” said Amy.

Then she heard about Gifts of Love. Within an hour of visiting, she left the event beaming with a sound bar and a brand new bike for their youngest son Aryan.

“I want people to know no matter what, you cannot give up,” said Amy. “You have to fight. Dust yourself off and keep going.”

Thank you to all who donated time and money to Gifts of Love last December. Your participation made sure that Christmas morning was filled with presents and warm memories for Amy and so many other families in the Lincoln community.