November 4

Phillips Family Now Accepting Nominations for Holiday Sponsorship

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It seems like yesterday that we were eating turkey and dressing and preparing for Christmas last year. But — it’s near that time of the year again, and guess what! My family will be blessing yet another family in need this holiday season. So if you or someone you know needs sponsorship this Christmas and would like to spend the holiday with my family, please send an email to gpjmemorialfoundation@gmail.com stating your name or the name of the family you’re nominating, a little background information and why the family would like to be selected as our third sponsored family in honor of my deceased brother, George “Pokey” Phillips, Jr. You can read more about the sponsorship and the first selected family here.

Who Was The Second Sponsored Family?

On Nov. 18, 2017, we selected our second sponsored family after receiving a total of six emails. Though we really wanted to help each family, my family thoroughly discussed each individual email and then narrowed down to the top two families that we felt were most in need. After hours of trying to make the best selection, we decided to place the top two names in a bowl and randomly select the winner. Our 2017 winner was Tammy Maniece.

Maniece is a single mother of two intelligent young men. On Nov. 2, 2017, Maniece Tammynominated herself to be sponsored by sending a message via social media.

Her message reads: I’m a single mother of 2 boys 16 and 13 I’m currently in a financial loop haven’t had any hours at work and everything is piling up on my this will be the first Christmas that I want be able to provide them with anything and it’s killing my soul I have been applying for loans any type of income so that I can pay the bills ion never ask for help from anyone but I’m at a dead end. 

We were so elated to notify her that she had won since we all sympathized with her story. But it wasn’t until we actually met Maniece on Christmas Eve that we realized she was God sent, and just as much as we helped her, she was a blessing into our lives as well.

Initially, my family wanted to sponsor families who had specifically been affected by gun violence since the idea came from losing my brother, a victim of gun violence. However, we opened the nominations to all struggling families. To our surprise, Maniece shared more in common with us than we thought: pain.

Maniece (sitting) with the parents of George Jr., a victim of gun violence.
Maniece (sitting) with the parents of George “Pokey” Jr., a victim of gun violence.

Several years ago, Maniece lost her sons’ father to gun violence as they were preparing for his birthday celebration. Since then, she has struggled to support her family as a single mother which is what ultimately led to her nominating herself for the Christmas sponsorship in the first place.

After learning that they were being sponsored for Christmas, her sons sent in their wish lists. I must admit, we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to make them both as happy as we would have liked, but to our dismay, we were able to fulfill almost every item on their lists.

Rather than delivering their gifts on Christmas, we invited Maniece and her sons to spend the holiday eve with us and enjoy an evening of fun and laughter. Later that night, the boys were able to open their gifts with the rest of us. The joy we witnessed on their faces inspired us to keep the tradition going another year.

Who Will Be the Third Sponsored Family?

This year, our family would like to sponsor a single child for Christmas under the age of 15. If you or someone you know is in need of help this holiday season, please read the information above and send in your nomination email by Nov. 21, 2018. We will be selecting the winner on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, 2018.