Totally Giving Back: Project Christmas Elves 2019

Christmas Elves Collage Christmas Elves Collage

More than 3,700 Ohioans died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2018. Drug addiction is a problem no communities in the Buckeye State or across the country have escaped, including ours.

Fortunately, our area has a nonprofit program called Mercer County House of Hope that supports men and women fighting addiction. The Celina, Ohio-based organization operates two transition homes that help adults with a history of substance abuse.

Seeking to make a difference

Last year, Totally Promotional chose the Mercer County House of Hope as the focus of its annual Project Christmas Elves effort. The staff collected and delivered more than 250 cleaning supplies, personal products and other needed items shortly before Christmas 2018.

Due to last year’s success, Project Christmas Elves 2019 also focused on the House of Hope. Employees donated nearly 330 items this Christmas season! In mid-December, staff members delivered boxes filled with laundry detergent, toilet paper, toothbrushes, shampoo, clothing and other supplies to the homes.

Sandy Huckemeyer, executive director of Mercer County House of Hope, said the items donated have a huge impact on the ministry.

“Thanks to the donations from Totally Promotional, we can focus our funds on the basic essentials such as paying our utilities and buying food,” she said.

How the program operates

Huckemeyer said the organization is self-supporting and responsible for paying all its own bills. Its sole support comes from donors.

Mercer County House of Hope provides residents with housing, food and clothing, and guides them in their search for employment. Residents also receive spiritual and emotional support.

The recovery homes operate entirely on donations. Residents receive a one-time allotment of personal supplies upon arrival, but must get a job and buy their own during the remainder of their stay.

Residents gain support, life skills and friendships

It is hard to measure the success of the program, Huckemeyer explained.

“I believe that whether a person is a resident for two weeks, two months or longer, they gain something from the House of Hope,” she said. “They gain a church family, they get to know people within the house that are working on recovery, they learn how to function as a family, cooking, cleaning and working out issues that develop just from living together.”

Residents are able to save up money to get cars or put down payments on apartments, Huckemeyer said. They usually get their drivers’ licenses back and begin new jobs, she added.

“One of the big benchmarks is that families who have been torn apart by drugs, begin to re-connect,” she said. “Children are reunited with parents who are now healthy. These are all successful moments.”

Glad to pay it forward

Lynn Huwer, COO of Totally Promotional, said employees are pleased to support such a worthwhile and much-needed organization.

“Our employees are happy to have this opportunity to help,” Huwer said. “We hope our donations help make a positive impact on this valuable community program.”

If you are interested in donating or volunteering for the Mercer County House of Hope, visit their website, call 567-890-4674 or email

Project Christmas Elves 2019
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Totally Giving Back is a program supported by and its staff to help individuals and groups in need. We believe it's important to give back to our local communities and spread hope to others around the world.

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