Gifts for boys who need it the most - Christ Child House collects donations for Christmas

Pam Harris puts on the red velvet dress every Christmas and delivers gifts and smiles to boys who need it most - something sadly she never had.

"Before 5 (years old) I don't remember Christmas," she said. "After 5 there was a tree but we weren't allowed in the living room, we weren't allowed to have Christmas, we were shut away."

Living in foster care and split from her siblings for most of her young life, Harris knows how tough it can be, especially around the holidays.

"It's hard," she said.

About 10 years ago, Pam, who works for Motor City Casino, was looking for an organization to help for Christmas - and stumbled across an article about the Christ Child Society of Detroit - a residential treatment center for boys 6 to 16, who have been removed from a traumatic situation.

"It's where you have been where you have lived what you know - and you know where help is needed - and Christmas time for a child who does not have a parent ... (is important)," she said.

Every year since, Pam has gone to work collecting donations and even buying presents with her own money to help bring joy to these boys during the holidays.

On Christmas morning, she dresses as Mrs. Claus and brings a bag full of gifts that always bring smiles - something she never had.

"So on Christmas morning when I come here, it is because I am looking for something, to give them something they can remember that was happy - even though they are in the situation they are in, because it is no fault of their own," Pam said.

"Pam is an exceptional person," said Chris Schwartz.

Schwartz, the president of Christ Child House, is blown away by Pam's generosity - not just on Christmas, but all year round. She works to bring normalcy to their lives that are anything but.
"Mrs. Claus shows up, gives up her morning to be with the boys, spoil them and bring them treats, and just make their Christmas more like a family Christmas," she said.

Pam is hoping to buy remote control cars and fill the stockings of at least 20 of the boys living at the orphanage. She says donations can be dropped off at Christ Child House on Joy Road in Detroit or she would be happy to pick it up. But no matter what, she will do whatever it takes to bring them a warm holiday memory.

"It is just wonderful to see a little kid that is happy and all because you showed up in a costume and you have a gift," she said. "And not always that it is a large gift, but it's something."

Christ Child House is funded 75 percent by the state - anything on top of that is provided through donations. So the basics like socks, pajamas and winter socks are always needed.

If you would like to help, go to