Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas memories in the making at Children's Haven of Joplin

(From Lamar Advertising)
When the neighbors of Mika Nugent, an employee of Lamar Advertising, found themselves in need of shelter for their child, Children’s Haven was there to welcome the child into their home.  Inspired in part by that act, and in part by the child’s subsequent rave reviews of her time at the Haven, the employees of Lamar Advertising began brainstorming on a way to help Children’s Haven bring even more holiday memories to the home but stay within their own holiday budgets.  From this session was born the idea to donate stockings to be decorated and personalized by the children. 
With their vision in mind, the families approached Lamar Advertising management for its support.  While the management agreed giving the children the opportunity to personalize Christmas at the Haven was exciting, the general manager felt empty stockings simply would not do.  Approval and funding was then provided for the purchase of toys to fill the stockings.
“We wanted to do something that would not only provide for the kids but also allow them to create a great holiday memory,” said Gloria Nidiffer, Lamar Office Manager.  “Our local branch is small, and we didn’t want to put pressure on our coworkers to donate more than their budgets could handle.  We quickly realized the memory is far more valuable than any monetary donation we could provide, and the sales at the craft stores made decorating stockings an ideal choice.  We also had a lot of fun shopping for the kids!”
Nugent’s wife, Jessica, contacted Children’s Haven to review their current needs and get feedback on the practicality of decorating stockings.  “I spoke with Amy Thompson and was simply floored by her genuine excitement for the kids.  Her delight and cooperation solidified our overwhelmingly positive impression of Children’s Haven,” she said.  “My husband and I, like most families, are watching every penny these days.  We didn’t feel like our donation was comparable to those you generally see in the news.  But, Amy’s reaction made me feel like a hero anyway.  I knew then, we should be letting other families know even the smallest donation really does matter at the Haven.”
The families of Lamar Advertising will be making their donation Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at Children’s Haven at 701 Picher, Joplin. 
If you would like more information or would like to schedule an interview with an employee or family member of Lamar, please call Jessica Nugent at 417-529-7467 or Tim Ketchum at 417-623-7920. 

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