The Doing Good blog follows area charities and social service agencies.

About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Holiday Wishes

I’m excited to announce our newest project which will launch Sunday. A series of features will look at area residents with some unique Christmas wishes.

The project actually originated two years ago. It was my first holiday season as a religion and social services reporter, and I was determined to get some really new, fresh stories. I was talking with Salvation Army Captain Michael Harris who suggested a series on the 12 Days of Christmas. Each story would feature someone with a need, and ideas on how the community could help.

It sounded like a great idea. It also sounded like a lot of work.

But the idea kept floating around. And this year, when two different sources mentioned it, I knew it had to be a good one. So I started planning this summer. I made lots of contacts, sent out tons of emails and knocked on plenty of doors. Everyone seemed intrigued. But Thanksgiving fast approached, and I only had two stories. I couldn’t do a series out of two stories.

The day after Thanksgiving, I came in to many calls and emails. We had suddenly had a lot of interest. I sat down with photographer Suzanne Carr Rossi, who was just as excited about the project. We’ve met so many people. And I’ve learned about things I didn’t know. For example, the series will launch Sunday with a feature about Eva-Simone Brooks, a 1-year old with Trisomy 13. Another feature follows a high school student without a family. And another one looks at a young woman recovering from an eating disorder.

One thing that really impressed me as I worked on the series: Every one was so gracious. And most of the people are really struggling with something. But every person featured also talked about gratitude and blessings.

I’m very excited for this series, and hope you all enjoy it. And if, somehow, you can meet one or two of these needs, please do.

Some of the stories are heart-wrenching: A middle schooler who wants to be reunited with her brother, a mom struggling to take care of her family.

It’s hard to see so much need. But I believe this series can do a lot of good. After all, it is the season of miracles.