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One Family Gives 25 Days of Joy

Even though they no longer work at Boys Town, they never really stopped working for Boys Town.

For the past three years, former employees Tom and Chris Osterbuhr have been working with their daughter, Katelyn, to bring Boys Town youth 25 days of Christmas.

It all began when Katelyn was working at a girls’ Family Home® at Boys Town Louisiana. Every year since, Chris spends the fall season shopping for gifts for the youth that Katelyn is working with. On Thanksgiving, Chris gathers her husband, sister, daughters and nieces to wrap presents to send down to New Orleans.

For the past two years, these gifts have gone to the boys at the Intervention and Assessment® (I&A) Shelter. For 24 days, each youth will receive a small gift. This leads up to a bigger gift on Christmas day.

“Christmas is a time when kids should be able to get gifts whether they are with their parents or not,” said Katelyn. “The 25 Days of Christmas shows the youth that someone cares for them and wants to make their holiday a little better regardless of past behaviors.”

Small gifts can be anything from notepads, to candy, to socks, to book lights. Bigger gifts are often things like personal toiletry kits including shampoo, conditioner and bottles they can refill. Katelyn said they really enjoy things like this because it’s something they can keep track of and call their own.

According to Katelyn, the youth are always very appreciative and often write thank you letters. This year, a youth asked if he could send a thank you just on day five.

“I think they [the youth] are really shocked,” said Katelyn. “They always want to know if my parents have a lot of money – and they don’t. They aren’t getting paid extra to do this, they just care. My mom really drives it all, and my dad obviously. I’m just the elf; I just deliver the gifts. They do all the hard work: get the boxes and everything, make sure it’s all individually wrapped and labeled by day.”

It’s a tradition that takes a lot of work, but the selflessness of the Osterbuhr family does not go unnoticed. The youth at Boys Town Louisiana consider themselves lucky and are very grateful for this family’s desire to go the extra mile and remind them that someone cares.

“It was really nice of them. Some people aren’t lucky enough to get the presents they want. They really took time and money to spend on us. “
- Kevon

“I think those gifts were so special. I thank you guys for taking time to send us gifts. May Jesus bless you and your family. Once again, I thank you guys.”
- Jaylan

“They were being generous, nice and sweet, and the gift meant a lot to me.”
- D’Kerian