Five years ago, Carina saw a need. Colorado moms and families were struggling with basic needs for their kids: school clothes, sports gear, books, or birthday presents.
From this, A Precious Child was born."This is where I belong, and I just love it," Martin said, "As a mom, I couldn't imagine how hard it would be if I couldn't provide for my own children, the worries of wondering where a winter coat was going to come from to [wondering] is there going to be a gift under the tree this year to [wondering] what if they want to play sports? How will I pay for it?" Every week, Martin puts in more volunteer hours at the service center than most people work at their full-time jobs.
"I work 60 to 70 hours a week volunteering. There are times you just feel so tired, but then you go in, and you see these children, and their faces light up. And you see the tears of their family members that are so thankful. It just inspires you. You have a purpose to wake up in the morning and really feel like you can make a difference," Martin said.
Alongside program director Courtney Rogers, Martin has expanded the program from helping fewer than 100 families a year to helping 30,000.
"Carina, being the executive director, has instilled in all of us staff and volunteers that we treat our families that come in, regardless of where they are in life, that we treat them like family. And she shows that first hand," Rogers said.
Martin and her team at A Precious Child will make sure Christmas morning is special for more than 6,000 kids in need.
"You think, 'What if they didn't have a gift under the tree,' and that child thinking, 'Santa doesn't care. Was I not good enough? Why didn't I get what my friend was able to get?'" Martin said.
Volunteers spend weeks in December filling the wish lists of girls and boys who normally wouldn't have anything under the tree. Many of those kids are victims of the Jamestown flooding.
"If it were up to Carina, it would be worldwide helping every child in need," Rogers said.
This year alone, A Precious Child will donate about $2 million in services to families in need, and Carina has done it all with a big heart, for one simple reason.
"I really did think about why, and it's clearly because I'm a mom," she said.A Precious Child sponsors numerous charitable programs throughout the year including A Precious Gift, giveSPORTS Equipment Drive as part of the Jessica Ghawi Memorial Foundation, and Fill A Backpack.If you're interested in volunteering for the A Precious Gift holiday program, you can do so at http://bit.ly/19667sr.Volunteers will be operating the Giving Tree table at The Flatiron Crossing Mall and helping pass out tags to donors to make sure 6,000 children have a present to open on Christmas.