Children’s Holiday Wish delivers gifts and gratitude Posted: January 03, 2013

As the holiday season rolls forward, it can be easy to get caught up in the mad rush of shopping, family parties and preparing holiday feasts. Sometimes we forget to not only help ourselves and our family, but to help others who are in-need.

Unfortunately, there are many families in our immediate area that simply do not have the means to provide a traditional holiday celebration for their children. It can be heartbreaking to think that some children may wake up to little or no presents under their tree. That’s why we at OLHSA, along with the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club, have teamed up again this year for the annual Children’s Holiday Wish Program. 

The Children’s Holiday Wish Program sponsors low-income and at-risk children in Oakland County and fulfills their holiday wishes. The idea started in the summer of 1989 when Claude DeLosh, a member of the Optimists, was surprised to hear someone comment on how many underprivileged and disadvantaged children were living in communities near Bloomfield Hills.  Soon after, he began discussing with fellow Optimists the irony of wealth and poverty residing alongside each other and the vision of the Children’s Holiday Wish Program was born.

During that first year of the program, the Optimists wrapped and delivered 150 gifts to children in the area. It was in 1995 that OLHSA formed a partnership with the Optimists, enabling us to serve even more at-risk children in our communities. This year, we were honored to grant holiday wishes to more children than ever: over 3,100 kids in Oakland County.

Despite the combined efforts of our two organizations, we still could not do this alone. Many other companies and organizations in the area stepped up to the plate to contribute gifts and volunteer hours to this wonderful cause. Organic, Inc., Bloomfield Hills Police and Fire Departments, Bloomfield Schools, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital of Oakland, Detroit Country Day School, just to name a few. We salute everyone’s efforts in making this year such a massive and far-reaching success!

If you would like to get involved with the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club or the Children’s Holiday Wish Program, you can email Brian MacKenzie at bjmacken@comcast.net.

Check out a few photos below from some of our very own Pontiac Head Start preschoolers receiving their Holiday Wish gifts and a special visit from Santa Claus himself.