Shannon was living on the streets with her children with nowhere to turn and no way to give her kids the life she wanted to provide for them. She eventually found a boyfriend and moved the family in with him, but she quickly found herself trapped in an abusive home. Shannon had an important decision to make – continue to endure the abuse or move her family out with no place to go.

Fortunately, Shannon learned about SafeHaven, a domestic violence service provider. She soon moved into the organization’s shelter, and for the first time in her adult life, she felt safe. She had a warm and secure bed to sleep in every night, and she knew that her children were well taken care of inside the walls of the shelter.

The holidays were quickly approaching, and Shannon was concerned about providing holiday gifts for her children. Just a few days before Christmas, Shannon and other moms from the shelter visited SafeHaven’s Santa’s Sack toy store with no idea what they were about to experience. When the doors opened to Santa’s Sack, Shannon cried tears of joy. There were Lego building blocks, Barbie dolls, bicycles and countless other gifts she could select for her children at no cost. As a result, she was able to make sure that all five of her children had the best holiday season of their lives. It was truly the most magical time of her year!

Read more of Shannon’s story below.