You may think that there are already a lot of charitable organizations out there that assist families in need at Christmas, and you’d be right. But Laura Mosser, Executive Director of Jimmie’s Angels, is certain that the new, Mint Hill-based nonprofit that provides amazing Christmas experiences for children, fills a specific need in our community.
“Servant’s Heart pretty much has the schools locked down in our zip code,” says Mosser, referring to the well-known assistance program run by Kim Rhodarmer, “but they don’t have all the needs met because there are some families that don’t have kids in the school system yet.”
Helping community members in need has always been important to Mosser and her husband. “My husband and I have been sponsoring individual families for 35 years,” she says. “The need was growing, and so rather than us doing a family or two or three per year we decided to do a charity, and that way we could reach more families.”
In fact, Jimmie’s Angels is named for a young man that Mosser and her husband connected with through their charity work. “In December of 2009, my husband and I found a woman, just divorced with two boys, and she needed winter coats,” says Mosser. “My husband and I reached out to her, and we actually sponsored her, family to family.” Tragically, In March of 2013, one of her sons died in an accident at the age of 14. “His name was Jimmie, so we named the charity in honor of her son. He believed in Christmas. He loved Christmas and he loved people.”
For the past five years, Mosser and her husband have been doing similar charitable work in Cabarrus County. But with most of Mossers core tribe of supporters located in Mint Hill and the faith that the other charity was strong enough to stand on its own, Mosser and her husband decided to bring their charity work home to Mint Hill.
On December 21st, Jimmie’s Angels will host its annual Christmas party at the Mint Hill Masonic Lodge. Mosser is planning a magical event not only for the families receiving assistance but also for sponsoring families and volunteers. In addition to a hot meal for everyone, there will be face painting, a balloon artist, arts and crafts, raffles, and even a visit from Santa.
“We have the volunteers, the sponsors, and the families being sponsored attend the event, and no one knows who is who,” says Mosser. While the kids are enjoying the festivities, Mosser discreetly gives their gifts directly to the parents. This enables the parents to give their children the gifts themselves or put them under the tree from Santa.
It may seem like a minor detail, but to Mosser, this discretion is vital. “This is about the parents being able to provide the gifts,” she says. “The kids have no idea. It takes a lot of stress off the families.”
Because let’s face it: it can be tough to ask for and accept help. When Mosser began reaching out to local daycares, one director said she knew of at least 40 families that could use help, so Mosser put out an informational flyer. One family signed up.
“Every single family we’re sponsoring this year is a working family,” points out Mosser. “They can make their bills, but it’s hard for Christmas presents.” This is the gap that Jimmie’s Angels works to fill: providing for families who are making ends meet but struggling to give their kids something to open on Christmas morning.
“What we want to get out to the community is if you need help, we’re here – completely confidential,” promises Mosser. “Your dignity is preserved. What’s really neat is that in past years we’ve watched families that were sponsored become sponsors. The pride in their faces when they can become sponsors is really cool.”
With just over a week to go until the big party, Jimmie’s Angels planned to serve 23 families with 49 children total. Because of space concerns at the Masonic Lodge and a desire – fulfilled in large part by Thompson Builders – to be able to provide a bike for every child who has one on his wish list, the charity chose to cap this year’s outreach at fifty children, but they’re already planning for growth.
The party may only be three days away, but Mosser can still use help the day of with tasks like carrying gifts to cars and cleaning up after the event – even just stopping by on December 21 to see what Jimmie’s Angels is all about and spread the word. “It really is magic!” says Mosser. If you’d like to be a part of Jimmie’s Angels, contact Laura Mosser at (704) 236-4138 or email@example.com.