Family First™: The Gift of Hope for the Holidays

Founded in 1989 by a group of employees of the former National Enzyme who wanted to sponsor a family in need for the holidays, Gift of Hope has grown into a non-profit organization providing essentials and pathways to independence for families in Taney County, Missouri. The group accomplishes this work through various programs, including the Backpack Club, Scholarships, and Christmas Share.

The mission of Gift of Hope’s Christmas Share Program is to assist families living in Taney County throughout the winter months, when financial hardship tends to be most prevalent, particularly due to the seasonal work cycle of the tourism-driven community. The program helps pay bills for rent, propane, and electricity. And each year during the holiday season, the Gift of Hope organization adopts several families that could use some extra help to provide presents for their children. Volunteers always enjoy meeting with each family and taking them shopping for essentials and gifts.

“I was recently contacted by one of our families that we assisted last Christmas,” said Jennifer Costello, the director of the Gift of Hope organization. The father of the family shared that they were so grateful for the help they had received last year that they wanted to give back and “pay it forward”, because they were thankfully in a much better place financially this year. He now wants to donate a few hundred dollars back to our Christmas Share program so that another family can be blessed this year just like his family was last Christmas.

“We don’t always hear back from a lot of our families, so when we do, it is heartwarming to see how much of an impact we are making on the lives of those that we touch every year,” Jennifer said.

Deerland is proud to put Family First through its support of the Gift of Hope organization. We’d like to thank everyone that continues to support this worthy cause; we truly appreciate you and want you to know the difference that you are making in the lives of so many children and families.

To support the families of Taney County, Missouri through Gift of Hope, visit