On Christmas morning of 1997, Nathaniel made an unexpected visit to the hospital. It was then that Nathaniel and his family spent his first Christmas huddled around a hospital bed instead of a gift-laden Christmas tree. As the Kucks looked around, they realized that so many others surrounded them, each dealing with the circumstances that had brought them there. In that moment they were quick to realize that the sadness and loneliness they experienced that Christmas Day was not unique to their family.
As a result of Christmas 1997, the Kucks purposed in their hearts to find a way to encourage kids like Nathaniel who had to spend Christmas in the hospital.
The following Christmas, Nathaniel, along with the rest of the Kuck family and about 40 others visited Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida bearing candy canes and homemade goodies, all the while filling the halls with Christmas carols for kids, their families, and hospital staff. The success of this first caroling outreach to the community brought Nathaniel’s Hope to repeat it year after year with the name “Caroling for Kids.”
In 2007, Nathaniel’s Hope added a new facet to Caroling for Kids called “Caroling Caravan” in which small groups of carolers go to the homes of VIP families who are unable to leave their houses for Christmas. For these special families, the Christmas cheer is brought directly to their doorstep.
Now, under the name “Christmas with Nathaniel’s Hope,” we share hope through these three Christmas programs:
1. Caroling for Kids teams share hope and encouragement with patients, families and caregivers at children’s hospitals on Christmas day through caroling and bearing goodies and gifts! Join a caroling team, accompany with an instrument, or help provide goodies- candy canes, small stuffed animals, and prepackaged Christmas cookies!
2. Caroling Caravan teams visit pre-screened, medically fragile VIP kids and their families who are home-bound for Christmas. They deliver Christmas cheer and toys from Nathaniel’s Toy Shop to a family’s home. Sign up and take a team of people with you! Or, if you have a medically fragile VIP and are home bound, apply to have a caroling team visit you!
3. Nathaniel’s Toy Shop provides FREE toys to VIP families with a financial need at Christmas. Host a toy drive, donate a toy at Walgreens, or help at Nathaniel’s Toy Shop! Or, if you have a child with special needs and need assistance, this shop is for you!
Matthew 25:36, 40 (NIV)
“I was sick and you looked after me…. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”