This past Tuesday, The Guild School received a special delivery.
Michelle and Donnie Peters, co-founders of DJ’s Holiday Smiles, arrived with over 50 bags of customized gifts for Guild School students. Guild staff members gleefully collected the bags and began the annual days-long gift-wrapping activities.
Each year during the holidays, DJ’s Holiday Smiles partners with a nonprofit organization in the Boston area that provides supports and services to populations that have been historically underserved. For the past two years, they have fulfilled gift wish lists created by youth with The Guild for Human Services.
“We loved working with The Guild last year because each gift on the wish list clearly held special meaning to each recipient,” said Michelle. “Knowing all that The Guild does to ensure that all of the students and residents are well cared for, learning, and active in the community – it’s exciting for us to be able to provide support in a small way.”
Donnie and Michelle founded the organization to honor the joy their son, DJ, brings to the lives of others every day. In lieu of his own gifts each year, DJ spreads holiday cheer by asking for gifts for those in need. 100% of all donations to the foundation go towards the 'Smile Bags' distributed to nonprofit partners.
“We created the Smile Bags as a way to share the happiness that our son DJ gives to us through his smiles every day. He enjoys what he has and never asks for anything new. Instead of purchasing DJ lots of gifts each holiday, we share in this spirit and give his gifts to others. As DJ gets older, we want people to know him and to know that it is because of his beautiful heart that we are able to share with so many others,” said Donnie and Michelle.
Staff at The Guild work to ensure that every student enjoys a festive holiday experience both at the school and at their residences. Each year, a number of individuals served spend their holidays at their Guild residence and/or rely on the Guild to receive holiday gifts. The donated gifts ensure that everyone in The Guild community is able to experience the joy of the season with gifts to open for the holidays, regardless of their income status or where they call home.
“Everyone here at The Guild is always amazed not only by the generosity of DJ Smiles but also their commitment to getting students what they really want – no matter how unique the request! On DJ Smiles delivery day, Donnie and Michelle’s joy of giving is inspiring and makes us all proud to be part of The Guild community,” said Christine Dimmick, The Guild’s Director of Admissions.
To learn more about DJ’s Holiday Smiles visit djsholidaysmiles.org.