Episode 18

full
Published on:

22nd Nov 2021

The Youth & Family Project Gingerbread House with Emily Greene

Each year, the Youth & Family Project in West Bend hosts a program called the Gingerbread House. Emily Greene joins me this week to talk about this program which helps make sure kids throughout Washington County find gifts under their Christmas Trees during the holiday season!

Links:

https://youthandfamilyproject.org/

• https://youthandfamilyproject.org/gingerbreadhouse/

Transcript
[:

I am thankful that I've been able to talk to. 18 different great things, organizations, people, events here in Washington County. So far since I started the show in August and I've met a lot of great people and I've learned a ton and I'm always looking to learn more. If you have any Any ideas for the show, email me, 15withfuzz at gmail.

com, or you can message me, I'm on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, basically I'm saying I'm really super easy to get a hold of. If you need to get in touch with me, you can figure it out. It's really easy. Don't be bashful. I love this stuff. This week, I'm We're talking about a project that is really near and dear to our hearts here in the Martin household.

Each year the Youth and Family Project of West Bend finds donors to buy presents to put under the trees of those less fortunate in Washington County over the Christmas season. The project is called the Gingerbread House. The organization is called the Youth and Family Project and Epic Creative, uh, the agency that, where I'm a partner, we participate every year.

My wife, Shanna, thinks it's a lot of fun picking out gifts for kids and knowing that we're able to bring them, uh, you know, something to put under their tree so they have a great Christmas. And we're really proud to be a part of that. And my guest this week is Emily Greene, the executive director at the Youth and Family Project and the Gingerbread House.

And she's going to give us a look at this wonderful program.

Emily, thanks for coming in. Let's start by talking about the Youth and Family Project. What does the Youth and Family Project, who do they serve and what's, what does the organization do?

[:

And that is a program that serves youth who are at risk of running away, which really means anything. Um, it could be youth with mental health issues, that kind of thing. We also have a program that offers supervised visitation and safe exchange for families who've been separated by either the court system or child protective services.

And then kind of our shining star of the organization is our Gingerbread House program. And that's a program that connects families in need with sponsors in the community who are able to purchase gifts for them at the holiday season.

[:

It's a big thing in my household because we feel as a family who has the privilege to be able to do this. Provide gifts for our kids. And we feel we should be able to help others who maybe aren't as lucky in that regard. So it's an annual program, the gingerbread house. Can you give us kind of an overview of who the program supports?

[:

Like maybe they have had a medical emergency and have a lot of bills that are adding up or running behind on their bills and need to catch up. There's not a real strict guideline for the program, but we do have, you know, things in place to ensure that the families that are signing up are in need for the program.

[:

[:

Kind of, um, a big deal to make sure you get all the gifts in time and all of that. And I think when, when you're worrying about whether you can put food on the table or whether you can pay your electric bill, Christmas time becomes that much more stressful and we want to help alleviate that stress from the family so that.

You know, they can really just sit down, have a good time together and really build those positive family memories.

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

It seems like since:

[:

[:

Whereas, you know, that certainly happens, um, every year with the program, but I feel like it was a higher intensity last year.

[:

[:

[:

[:

So take that back 10 years, looking at a pretty big, pretty big number. And

[:

And then when we first see the list that we get from you, you know, we either pick a family member or two and say, all right, we're going to get all these things, you know, you know, whether it's toys or sometimes it's like books West Bend, Kewaskum, Slinger,

[:

[:

[:

Most of our signup is completely virtual now. Families will go to either our Facebook or our website and follow a link to a Google form where they fill out those wishlists and fill out a family profile that, you know, gives The sponsor's a little bit of background about the family as a whole, and then each family member fills out their own wish list that has background information about the person as far as their likes and dislikes, things like that, as well as five gift ideas.

So that way the sponsors have a little bit of wiggle room to work with as well.

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

Over on Elm Street.

[:

[:

Um, and a lot of times we don't know until the very last minute. With that, we do have typically every year about 50 to a hundred volunteers. Who will help throughout the process, whether it be the signup process, ensuring that we have enough people to answer the phone calls when it comes time to actually check, you know, their, um, eligibility for the program.

But then there's also, you know, sorting all of the general donations that we gift, um, helping sponsors unload their vehicles. And then now with the pandemic, we've started doing curbside pickup as well. So sponsor or families will be able to just drive right up to the door and our volunteers will come bring the gifts out to them so that they can You know, have minimal contact with lots and lots of people.

[:

[:

[:

Right. Is that okay? Very good. Mm-Hmm. . Speaking of now, the, the people who are. Donating the gifts. How do people sign up to do that? What's the the process for that and are you still looking for some this this episode will come out on the 22nd? Are you still looking for? People to donate?

[:

That's too late to provide gifts to the gingerbread house. We, we close sign up after this week, technically. Um, but what in reality that looks like is after that signup closes, then we start a wait list for the program, which we're not going to guarantee that they're going to get anything, but realistically they're going to get items underneath their gift.

Yeah. Their Christmas tree.

[:

[:

[:

[:

org, and then as soon as we receive that, we will start matching you with a family.

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

[:

org. Emily, this is a great cause. Again, we at Epic love participating in it every year. It's a lot of fun for our employees. It's a lot of fun for me and my family personally, and thank you for what you're doing for individuals in our community.

[:

[:

[:

[:

If you're not a hunter, look out for deer anyway. We'll talk to you again next week on 15 Minutes with Fuzz. Thanks so much for listening. We appreciate it. You'll find us everywhere on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, at FifteenWithFuzz or email FifteenWithFuzz at gmail. com. FifteenWithFuzz. com is the website.

Have a great week.

Show artwork for Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz

About the Podcast

Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz
Showcasing the positive things happening in Washington County, Wisconsin.
Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz is sheds light on all the great things going on in and around Washington County, Wisconsin. The host, Fuzz Martin, is a local business owner (EPIC Creative) and a former radio personality (92.5 WBWI - now Buzz Country). New episodes launch on Tuesday mornings. https://fifteenwithfuzz.com

Whether you're in West Bend, Kewaskum, Slinger, Hartford, Germantown, Richfield, Jackson, or anywhere else in the area, 15 Minutes with Fuzz serves the community with fun and positive people, places, events, and attractions.

About your host

Profile picture for Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.