How you can 'Jump in' to help Central Virginians with special needs this holiday season

Posted at 6:40 AM, Nov 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-17 06:40:02-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- As the sounds of sleigh balls get louder and louder, a staple of the Central Virginia community giving season is returning this weekend.

The JP JumPers Foundation, which advocates for Central Virginians with special needs, will hold their annual Giving Tree fundraiser Saturday at Natalie's Taste of Lebanon from 12 to 4 p.m.       

This is the tenth year of the event, and this year, the group hopes to provide gifts for 382 children and adults with special needs.

"We know that having a loved one with special needs or any other kind of disability, it really does take a financial toll on you," explained JP JumPers executive director Pam Mines. "So being able to provide this opportunity for people to come and let the community come in, learn more about the special needs community and choose a name off the tree and be impactful, it just means so much."

In its decade of providing Christmas gifts for those in need, JP JumPers says they've never had a name left on their tree.

Natalie Schwartz, the namesake of Natalie's Taste of Lebanon, has special needs, and she says being part of the event this year is exciting.

"It means a lot," said Schwartz. "I love that, and it's good. And I hope they enjoy the gifts they receive."

Natalie's Taste of Lebanon works with the Positive Vibe Foundation to hire and provide job training for adults with disabilities.

"I love what I do," shared Schwartz.

"It just means so much and doing it here with Natalie, who is just, you know, the awesome extraordinaire, host and guest relations manager, just makes it all the more better," Mines shared.

If you can't make it to Saturday's event in-person, you can tune-in online to select a name here:

Anyone who provides a gift or financial donation this year will receive a JP JumPers Giving Tree shirt.

On Sunday, December 10th, you can drop off your gift at JP JumPers wrapping party, which will take place at 63Thirty5 restaurant from 1 to 5 p.m.

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