Here’s an Idea for Your Church’s Giving Tree: Collect Gifts Designed to Encourage Family Interaction

Here’s an Idea for Your Church’s Giving Tree: Collect Gifts Designed to Encourage Family Interaction

PCHAS Child and Family Specialists in Corpus Christi have come up with a unique gift-giving program, one designed to encourage interaction between children and their parents. The program, designed by PCHAS Child and Family Specialists Carla Daniels and Courtney Alvarez in Corpus Christi, and operated as a partnership between two Corpus Christi churches, promotes gifts that focus on strengthening bonds between parents and their children. Inspiration for the program is borne out of Carla’s and Courtney’s experience with families in crisis.

Carla and Courtney put together a basket of books, games and activities that encourage interaction between parents and their children. The activities are decidedly old-fashioned: Play-doh, supplies for arts and crafts, board games and puzzles, and, of course, books for parents to read to and with their children. Missing are video games and other electronic toys that can sometimes isolate children from their families.

The books and games in the basket promote a “sensory-rich” environment for children. They were chosen by Carla and Courtney for that very reason – for their sensory value. “A sensory-rich environment is a natural component of a child’s first years of life, but is markedly absent in the experience of most children who have suffered early neglect and/or abuse,” according to Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), a parenting model used in the PCHAS Child and Family program. TBRI is designed to help parents connect with their children and build meaningful relationships.

Parkway Presbyterian Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Corpus Christi have teamed up with Carla and Courtney to reach a common goal: to provide baskets for 40 families in the PCHAS Child and Family program. Churches are encouraged to donate entire baskets, but individual items for the baskets are also welcomed. (Your church might want to dedicate its “angel tree” to collecting these items for families in PCHAS’ care. A list of the PCHAS Child and Family programs can be found here).

Donations will be accepted until Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013:
Download a PDF of much-needed items for the baskets

For more information, contact:
Carla Daniels, Child and Family Supervisor: carla.daniels@pchas.org or 361.888.9224
Courtney Alvarez, Child and Family Specialist: courtney.alvarez@pchas.org or 361.548.6470

First Presbyterian Church of Corpus Christi
430 S Carancahua Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
361.884.4057

Presbyterian Parkway Church
3707 Santa Fe
Corpus Christ, TX 78411

By Amy Prince