(Update: Adding video and comments from people involved)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Giving Plate and some helpful sponsors have chosen four local families to receive their 'Jingle Makeovers' and a Christmas to remember, and their kindness is much appreciated by those who receive it.
The Jingle Makeover has created love and hope for families headed into the holiday season. This year, four families are embracing the gift of support.
We talked with one recipient, Tara Brannan, on Wednesday about their challenging situation and the very special gift they were chosen to receive.
“While we were in the hospital, they also found out that she had a hole in her heart, and they said that we were going to have to do an emergency echocardiogram while we were in the hospital. Come to find out, it was a moderate-sized hole in the heart," said recipient Tara Brannan.
Brannan and her family had a new addition to the family, her daughter Paige. Paige was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect, which leads to open heart surgery.
Before the holidays Tara was one of 90 families who turned in an application for the Jingle Makeover from The Giving Plate and one of the fortunate four who were chosen.
Giving Plate Executive Director Ranae Staley delivered the happy news to Tara.
“She just started bawling when we showed up," Staley recalled. "And I hugged her, and I just tried to confirm with it and herm like you are seeing: 'You are important. You have an incredible group here now who gets to be your friends and champion you.' But just seemed a relief..." an emotional Staley said.
The Giving Plate started the makeover in 2020 during Covid, in hopes of giving families who deserve an assist and a break an amazing Christmas. After the families submit applications, they narrow it down to 30 people.
From there sponsors, choose from the thirty and give the family they choose $2,500.
One of the sponsors, the Real Life Christian Church, said they couldn't be happier to help out the Brannans.
Senior Pastor Jake Burke said, “It speaks volumes to me when when people step up and just, they commit to loving people. And it's that that's really what we read in Tara's application was that they're going through stuff and just need a little help. And that's what we're here to do."
The Real Life Christian Church is sponsoring a Jingle Makeover for the second straight year. In fact, this year they are sponsoring two families, one being the Brannan family.
Tara could not be happier to feel seen by the community, “Our story out there, I absolutely adore the opportunity to be able to help provide for my kiddos, my little girl, and I have two boys as well. It's been a tough year, and I was just blown away -- and I couldn't thank the community more.”