Joy FM listeners, you have some pretty big hearts. You gave us info for over 100 families in need for Create A Christmas (which made it incredibly hard for us to choose just three of the deserving nominees!), and we're hoping that giving spirit will continue for the second part of this project.

Below, you'll find the information for our three selected Create A Christmas families. Russell's Tree & Shrub Farm has already generously donated a Christmas tree for each family -- but now, we need your help getting the presents to go under those trees!

We'll add more about each family's specific needs and wishes as we receive the information, but for now we've reopened our Pennies From Heaven account, so you can make a monetary donation to help us purchase wish list items, groceries, etc. at any area Key Bank branch.

If you'd like to donate a specific item, we've got two ways for you to do so:

  1. You can bring it to Joy FM's studio (14 Lafayette Square, Suite 1200, Buffalo, NY 14203) between now and Thursday, December 19. Our offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  2. We'll be collecting wish list items during our special all-day Create A Christmas live broadcast on Thursday, December 19 at Russell's (9800 Transit Rd., East Amherst -- right near the North French intersection). We hope to see you there!

Please make sure wish list items are unwrapped and labeled with the family member's name.

And from all of us at Joy FM -- THANK YOU + MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


Family #1: The Fuller Family

Scott, 42
Angela, 36

Jordan, 18: Needs pants, sweatpants and gym shorts (size 30/31; he does not like skinny jeans); socks and shoes (size 13 1/2); pajamas and a winter coat (size men's large).

Jordan enjoys listening to music, drawing, anime comics and fishing, so he would like gift cards for Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Game Stop, Best Buy or Oogie Games.

Brandon, 16: Needs pants and gym shorts (size 28/31; he's skinny and tall!); socks and shoes (size 12 or 13); and a winter coat (size men's large; he likes the colors blue, black white and gray).

Brandon enjoys playing and watching sports (football and hockey -- he's a big Sabres fan), listening to music, drawing and playing video games, so he would like gift cards to Walmart, Target, Game Stop, Best Buy, Oogie Games, Dick's or Olympia.

Alyssa, 14: Needs pants and leggings (size 0-2/small; she likes skinny jeans); shoes and boots (size 8 1/2 or 8-9); scarves and outdoor wear; and pajamas and tops (size women's small; she likes blue, black, gray and maroon, and she is a fan of bulky sweaters and tank tops).

Alyssa enjoys crafts, painting, fashion, music (especially One Direction and Austin Mahone) and makeup (she really likes cotton candy-scented perfume), so she would like gift cards for H&M, local malls, Target, Kmart, Walmart, Kohl's, Marshalls, Michael's or Barnes & Noble.

I hope it is all right to nominate my own family. Mostly for my children. I don't care about me -- the best gift I could ever receive is the happiness and joy on my children's faces on Christmas.

I don't know how I am going to give them Christmas this year. I know most parents cringe over the teenage years, but my children make me proud every day. They have good grades, nothing but love and respect for those around them. They are my world. Even when they see us struggle, like when I don't even have money just to put gas in my car to go to work -- without hesitation, they unselfishly walk up to me and hand me any money they may have (birthday, gifts, etc.) -- and this just kills me because they shouldn't have to worry about this.

I already told my children I don't know if there will be much of a Christmas this year, and they tell me, "It's OK, Mom, we understand." It breaks my heart because I can tell they are disappointed but don't want to show it. My daughter asked me when are we decorating for Christmas, and she saw me start to tear up, because it reminded me that I have nothing to give. She came over to me and hugged me and said not to worry, we will be together and that's all that matters. Things like this are why they deserve joy for Christmas.

My husband and I both work, but we barely can afford the bills, mortgage and food -- let alone any extras, including Christmas. My job cut back the hours I work to only 20 a week. My husband had shoulder surgery a few years ago, leaving him without full use of his arm. Now his other shoulder is wearing away from overuse. This man, in pain, still goes to work every day just to provide for our family. Due to his injury, his work is limited, and so is the pay. Right before summer, he was let go of a job he had for nearly five years, and even with the economy the way it is, he found a new job within a few weeks. It's those few weeks, though, that has put us so far behind, more than we already were.

I cry at night -- not for me, but for my kids. I just want the best for them, as any parent does. But it would mean the world to me if someone could open their hearts and make my children's Christmas a blessed and happy one full of JOY.

Thank you for your consideration, and blessings to all involved.


Family #2: The Tobin Family

Will, 30
Carla, 28

Will and Carla would appreciate gift cards to Target, Walmart, Payless or Tops.

Emilia, 8: Emilia likes Duck Dynasty and would love a camouflage coat, country music CDs, board games or rubber bands for her jewelry loom. In clothes, she is a size 10/12.

Kyra, 3: Krya loves Minnie Mouse and Sofia The First. She would enjoy some new books, coloring books and Color Wonder products, or board games. In clothes, she is a size 4T.

Lily, 2: Lily loves "Doc McStuffins" and "Bubble Guppies" toys. She enjoys books and musical toys and would also like coloring books and Color Wonder products. In clothes, she is a size 3T.

William, infant: William's parents have asked for a baby bouncer chair, a play mat and diapers (size 1 or 2). Clothes are also appreciated; he is a size 3-6 months.

The Tobins are warm-hearted people who have fallen on hard times this holiday season. Right as they were having a baby, Will got laid off. He is a hard-working man, and Carla is an extremely hard-working stay-at-home mom. No parent should have to worry about how they will buy their kids Christmas presents, and every child needs to believe in the magic of Santa and Christmas. I can't think of a more deserving family to receive a miracle this Christmas!


Family #3: The Wagner / Ciccarelli Family

Lisa, 38
Anthony, 13
Nicholas, 9
Alexa, 7

Lisa has asked for a "family gift" for her kids -- an XBox or PlayStation gaming system and games. The family would also appreciate gift cards to a mall, Target or Walmart.

My sister is a single mom of three. She had to move in November. She is staying with my family until she finds a place. Her children go to Niagara Wheatfield schools, but now she is driving daily to bring her kids to and from school. She works at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel as a server, and with the season change, her monies have dropped tremendously. She gets no child support from.the kids' father, nor does she receive any cash assistance from the state. She doesn't qualify for help because she makes just barely too much.

I feel this family would be a perfect candidate for some extra help this year. She does the best she can with the little she does have. The kids try to be understanding for her sake, but I know they are feeling sad that Christmas this year will be tough for her. If you read this message, please keep in mind that these children will be so grateful for anything they may receive this Christmas season. Thank you for your time and for offering help to families in need.