It has been two months since the gift giving season ended and most of us are looking forward to Spring and maybe even a little bit of sunshine, yet some gifts and memories continue on giving.As a counselor at Rays, I have the opportunity to witness what Richard Sherman and his foundation Blanket Coverage do for our families for each holiday season. I also get to see the lasting effects of their generosity.
In December 2016, for the third year in a row, some of our families here at RAYS had the opportunity to participate in Richard Sherman’s Blanket Coverage Event. Thirteen of our RAYS clients and their families attended a holiday celebration, where they had the chance to meet some Seahawks players, and take a picture with Richard Sherman himself! Mr. Sherman’s foundation donated much needed and wished for gifts to each of our families. Items ranged from clothing, gift cards, toys, mattresses, dishware, and for the most part, whatever they wished for most.
The need in the community is undoubtedly apparent. One nominated family became homeless two months prior to the event and were certain there would be no holiday season for them. The family’s RAYS’ counselor commented on the situation saying:
“My client tried to remain positive no matter the situation, which is a great mindset to have, but hard to maintain when the holidays are celebrated for weeks at end and you have nothing to look forward to”.
Mr. Sherman’s foundation donated much needed and wished for gifts to each of our families. Items ranged from clothing, gift cards, toys, mattresses, dishware, and for the most part, whatever they wished for most.
Now, we are in March and I still talk to kids and their families about the impact of the event. Often the physical gifts are more than a simple one time experience; recently a counseling client told me, “I just spent the rest of the money on my gift card from Christmas on a pair of shorts for soccer practice.” Sometimes, a pair of shorts are enough to help a child to participate in a sport that keeps them busy, active, and out of trouble after school.
In addition to this generous gifts, for most of our families, it’s the memory of the event that truly makes the difference. Drawing on a positive memory can often shape how individuals deal with present and future stresses. If you are fortunate, as many of us are, you have a well of these pleasant memories to choose from when times are hard. Unfortunately, for many of our RAYS families these memories are harder to come by because of unfortunate life circumstances and tragic events. As a clinician, it is not uncommon to hear the Richard Sherman event is THE memory a family holds on to which tells them they are worth someone else’s time, effort, goodwill, and care.
Yes, the Blanket Coverage event is an overwhelmingly generous and appreciated gesture in the moment; however, it would be a disservice not to point out the lasting effects that continue to bring joy and benefit our clients beyond December and the holiday season.
This is all to say, we know it is March but…
Thank you again, again, and again, Richard Sherman and Blanket Coverage!
For more about Blanket Coverage: https://www.richardsherman25.com/blogs/blog/the-importance-of-christmas
For more about this last year’s event: http://www.king5.com/news/local/stories-worth-sharing/richard-sherman-fiance-adopt-38-families-for-christmas/375984873