Christmas Commandos tailor the presents to each child’s needs. The nonprofit relies on guidance counselors, teachers and hospice workers to nominate children in the tri-county area and provide the necessary details to make their Christmas personal.
If a child wants a bicycle but doesn’t have a covered place to store it, the commandos will provide a lock and a tarp. If a toddler has lost his mother, volunteers will buy shoes a half-size up that can be worn in six months. This year, each child will receive a pillow along with his or her gifts.
One special memory stands out from Deacola’s seven years of volunteering. She and other commandos were in the middle of delivering presents when a man opened his front door and asked what they were doing. The commandos explained that they were there to deliver gifts for his three grandchildren who had lost their mother that year. He let them bring the presents inside.
“He saw bikes and everything coming in. He was holding onto the chair and steadying himself and he was like, ‘I just can’t believe this,'” Deacola said.