Giving is their favorite holiday tradition
Giving and receiving gifts is the favorite tradition of many during the holidays. But for one family, it’s the giving that means so much more.
With a full house of Christmas decorations and too many toys to count, Angela Castillo gives credit to two things. “Hard work,” Castillo said. “It just truly’s God’s blessing.”
Castillo’s life wasn’t always this blessed, however.
“We moved to the United States and my mom couldn’t always make ends meet so there were several times where we had to depend on homeless shelters,” said Castillo.
That’s not what she remembers most about life with her parents and four siblings. “What I remember from it is that we were never made to be felt like we were less than the other kids,” she said.
So then, she grew up, got a job, and moved to Florida. After that, she got pregnant. “Being pregnant it was hard to find a job. So I ended up in the homeless shelter in Cape Coral that’s for pregnant like teen moms and they took me in and I was there until my first son was born,” said Castillo.
She did eventually make it out of there and credits hard work, God and two other people. “There were two counselors at the shelter that became like family to us. Once Jeremiah was born, to this day, that’s nana and papa,” she said.
As much as Jeremiah and Josiah want that bag of toys, they’re more excited to give them away.
WINK News reporter Morgan Rynor as Josiah what he was most excited for. “Giving, and finding the elf,” he said. The Elf on the Shelf, that is.
Angela says she couldn’t bear the thought of kids around her not getting to have Christmas. “How can I sit at a dinner table for the holidays with my kids, knowing that they know there are some kids from their class that may not have a Christmas this year? Or may not even have food on a table on a regular day?” she said.
The first place month their giveaway list is the shelter where Angela stayed. “One of the places I want to give back to was where I was when I was pregnant with Jeremiah,” she said.
“It makes me excited. Makes me happy. Makes me feel extraordinary and it’s going to put a smile on their face,” said Castillo.