The Mint Hill Times

The Kirton family of Waxhaw display the finished gift sets they created for local homeless children (L to R): Savannah, Braxton, and mom, Crystal.


Bright Blessings, a local non-profit with programs that aid homeless children and their families, announced a unique opportunity for summer visitors to show their support—with a personal touch.
The organization, which was started by Mint Hill residents Amy and John Cervantes, is promoting its new “Heart To Heart” project that offers individualized giving experiences that help connect visitors with local homeless children in a personally tangible way.  Members of the Kirton family from Waxhaw were some of the first to participate.
Through its Build-A-Bucket project, participants make a $10 contribution to support Bright Blessings and create their own one-of-a-kind gift sets for homeless children, each uniquely designed and assembled.   At The Giving Village, the Kirton family chose gift containers and themes from the Village Toy Shoppe’s “Heart To Heart” specialty section to prepare their personalized gift sets.
Savannah, 11 years old, chose to build a “Wee Wonder” set for a homeless toddler.  Her brother Braxton, 9 years old, opted for the “Have A Ball” theme for a homeless boy, and mom, Crystal, was immediately drawn to the “Beauty & Bling” section for a homeless teen girl.  Bright Blessings offers eight different Build-A-Bucket themes—options for every participant that result in finished gift sets for homeless boys and girls of all ages, babies to teens.
After hand-decorating their containers with themed accessories, the family carefully selected coordinating gift items from  the Heart To Heart “specialty shop” shelves.  They arranged their gifts using tissue and wrap, and topped off their sets with ribbon. To finish, they each personally signed a cheerful tag with a keepsake pocket card for the gift recipient.
Now complete, the Kirton family gift sets are ready for delivery to three of the more than 100 local homeless children honored by the nonprofit’s Bless-A-Birthday and Bless-A-Baby programs each month.
“This was so much fun, I want to come back and do it again tomorrow,” said Braxton.
His sister and mother agreed.  “It makes it much more fun and rewarding because we know who these gifts are going to,” mom Crystal said.  “It makes you want to put that much more heart into what you’re making.”
“We’re already seeing great response from this new ‘Heart To Heart’ initiative, as it gives people a chance to feel personally connected to their support, ” says Amy Cervantes, Bright Blessings’ co-founder and volunteer executive director. “Whether it’s a group of friends, parents and children, retirees or youth, this is a wonderful experience for both the young and the young at heart.”
Interested participants can sign up for the Build-A-Bucket project by calling 704-846-2329 or via email at  Kids who participate will enjoy a special visit to “Treat Street” at The Giving Village, where they’ll fill their own little baggie of thank-you treats.
For those who want to participate but are unable able to visit Bright Blessings’ facility, the “Heart To Heart” program also offers a $5 Tag-A-Bag option.  Complete details are available online at