Twenty-six years ago, a local businessman in Aptos was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. As the cancer progressed, he was unable to work or support his family as the holidays approached. Our community put on spaghetti feed and the money collected went to help his family.
Patrice Edwards, of Times Publishing Group, Inc., and a friend, worked tirelessly to collect toys, food, clothes, rent money, and more to carry his family through the coming months. This was the birth of Aptos-Adopt-a-Family.
Over the years there have been hundreds of stories, and thousands of gifts. Gifts of wheelchairs, a handicap accessible van, lifts, food, clothes, toys, bikes, rent—gifts that have helped many a family enjoy their holiday.
We connect people who want to adopt, and they provide the family with gifts. They receive a list of the family’s wants and needs, they do the shopping, and then deliver them to our office and we pass them along to the adopted family.
We focus primarily on families that are having financial challenges due to a medical catastrophe within their family as well as families who have had a financial crisis. We have worked side by side with Jacob’s Heart over the years and have had several of our sponsors adopt a Jacob’s Heart family.
We have several families awaiting adoption! Call us at 831-688-7549 if you would like to adopt a family or refer a family in need.
If you cannot adopt but would like to support us please send your donation (of any amount) to Aptos Adopt-A-Family c/o Times Publishing Group, Inc., 9601 Soquel Drive, Ste A Aptos, CA 95003.
From a Jacob’s Heart Parent
Celebrating The Holidays in Grief is like holding your breath when you dive into a pool: Instinctual, scary and over before you know it.
At different stages the pain changes. Tears fall either way — with delight and while mourning. It would be easy to dread the season because our pain overshadows any hope of a “greeting card” holiday.
Deciding how to make new memories, without forgetting what matters, is challenging.
If we try to maintain some sense of “normal” we aren’t fooling anybody. There is nothing normal about experiencing life’s grandest occasions without your beloved child. There are still traditions to keep and expectations to meet. But you have to force yourself out of bed amid the constant presence of loss. That’s not easy.
Breathing takes effort. Energy that might be better reserved for planning, creating, and enjoying the season, is depleted by the sheer act of existing.
Like it or not, our child died before us, and we will spend the holiday without Charlie. We are broken. Permanently.
There will be beauty, laughter, and joy, but at a cost so great, it means less now than before. The best it will ever get is over forever.
So how do we find holiday joy when we’re completely shattered? How could we?
Maybe the wonder and magic of the holidays will restore our hope. Or, maybe the holidays will remind us how fleeting our chances truly are.
In spite of it all, I choose joy. I know a significant reason I can be joyful in grief is because of the joy that has been shared with me. My faith, our close family, this community, and the continuous support and love from Jacob’s Heart sustains us.
When the world and its unavoidable tragedies seem overwhelming, we must find joy. And by grace, I have.
It gives me hope that we’ll somehow survive the devastation of my son Charlie’s death, and we will someday be together forever in perfect paradise.
Until then, I choose joy in grief, because despite the obliterating sadness of pediatric cancer, we have been given a new day. This is the ultimate gift.