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GTE Financial Makes Hope Real for Families on Bay News 9 12/15/17

Bay area credit union employees lend holiday help for families in need

By Laurie Davison, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017, 10:08 PM EST

It’s a holiday wish come true for five Bay area families who’ve fallen on hard times.

  • Families selected by GTE Financial community centers
  • Employees donated money to provide families a little help
  • Families also went home with wrapped gifts to open later

GTE Financial employees donated money to provide the families with some holiday cheer. The families were treated to a shopping spree at Target followed by dinner.

“We had five families selected by our community financial centers,” said Jake Hill with GTE Financial. “Families that need a little break or need an evening out and hopefully we’ll make their Christmas a little more special.”

T.J. Lewis and his family were among the families chosen. They lost all of their belongings in September when a generator malfunctioned after Hurricane Irma and their house burned down.

“It’s been a rocky road, just emotionally. You look for stuff that you don’t have anymore and decorating for Christmas is hard because all our Christmas stuff was lost, too, because it was in the attic,” he said.

Accompanied by his own personal “shopping elf,” Lewis filled up his cart with a lot of necessities, as well as some fun gifts for his wife and children.

His 15-year-old daughter Kylee said she’s grateful for the generosity.

“It was tough at first, but things happen for a reason and you can’t change what happened, so you just have to move on,” she said.

Children waited on a party bus while their parents and guardians did the shopping.

Afterwards, GTE employees wrapped the gifts so the families could take them home to open and celebrate whenever they choose.

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