3 grieving families surprised with Extreme Christmas Makeover

It started with a knock.

“All the families knew is that someone had adopted them for Christmas, that they would maybe be showing up with a Christmas gift or two,” Diane Lazette with the Yatooma Foundation told us. But little did they know, a sea of people were outside waiting with loads of gifts.

Yatooma Foundation surprises 3 families with gifts and money

The Yatooma Foundation surprised three grieving families with money and gifts this holiday season.

But these three families, sadly, have something in common: they’re grieving the loss of a parent this holiday season. So the Yatooma Foundation surprised them with a massive refrigerator-sized box overflowing with gifts, as well as a larger-than-life sized check to help pay for groceries and other living expenses. 

“They’re all good kids, so this is nothing short of a blessing, a miracle. I did not expect all of this,” Yolanda Johnson told us. She’s caring for three of her grandchildren after their mother died of congestive heart failure only a day before her 30th birthday. Times have been tough and this was beyond amazing. 

“This is better than Santa Claus,” Johnson said. “I would’ve never been able to, you know, a quarter of this on my own.”

“These kids are so deserving of a little Christmas joy and I love that we get to be a small part in making their Christmas a little bit brighter and a little bit better,” said volunteer Olivia Yatooma.

With the gift from Yatooma, three months’ worth of winter bills are totally paid for. 

The Yatooma Foundation also provides services such as grief counseling, support groups, tutoring and mentoring. You can get more information at www.forthekidsfoundation.org