CULLMAN, Ala. – It is officially fall in Alabama, and although it is only October, thoughts of Christmas are on the minds of parents and caregivers all over the state.
For them, the Christmas season holds a different level of responsibility that can come with great stress and financial strain. For some families, the magic of the Christmas season is dimmed slightly by the ever growing cost of living, with rent, groceries and gas at an all-time high. In 2022, the average American family spent $150-$200 per child on Christmas gifts. If you have a larger family by today’s standards, you could easily expect to spend a small fortune. What if that isn’t an option? What can you do? Thanks to Curt’s Closet and Ashley Wilson, you can turn to Curt’s Closet and the Curt’s Christmas program.
Curt’s Closet was created by Wilson in honor of her late son, Curtis James Wilson, who was tragically killed in 2017. “Our mission is helping provide students with confidence through community action and God’s love,” Wilson said.
For over 30 years, concerned Cullman area residents worked to make Christmas better for needy children and their families through a program called Christmas Love. In 2021, Wilson and Curt’s Closet took over the reins, and over the 2022 Christmas season, Curt’s Christmas provided 527 local children with a new coat, outfit, pair of shoes and at least six items from their wish lists.
“I know from experience how challenging and stressful it can be for parents to provide just the necessities for their children, much less something special for Christmas,” Wilson said. “Through Curt’s Christmas and the generosity of our community, we can provide hundreds of kids and their families with not only things they need, but something special that they want. Every kid deserves to wake up on Christmas with something special just for them.”
Of the families they serve, Wilson added, “Most households we serve are facing some sort of economic hardship either due to job loss, illness in the family or other sort of family emergency.”
Wilson, staff and volunteers at Curt’s Closet extend that Christmas magic and a bit of grace to parents and caregivers by sending the gifts unwrapped, allowing for them to be wrapped at home, so parents can add their own special touches and keep a sense of tradition.
Curt’s Christmas was also able to raise and distribute an astounding $75,000 in food vouchers to local families to ease their burden even further.
Currently, Curt’s Christmas anticipates sponsoring and providing clothing necessities and gifts for even more children in our community for the 2023 Christmas season.
“The number of families we serve has increased each year. We would love to know that every child in our community knows the joy of Christmas,” said Wilson. “My hope is that our community will continue to unite around this project so that we can serve as many families as possible each year.”
If you are interested in sponsoring a child or family, donating or hosting a toy drive to benefit Curt’s Christmas, you can register online at www.curtscloset.org under Curt’s Christmas. Donations of new wrapping paper, boxes and bows are also accepted and appreciated.
Curt’s Closet is located at 1101 Third Ave. SE. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.