Holiday Gift Giving at Next Door

Five years ago, Javon and Stephanie Harmon were looking for a chance to give back during the holiday season.

After some online research, they found Next Door’s Holiday Gift Giving program and haven’t stopped giving since.

“We liked the fact that we were going to get a family to support,” Stephanie said.

Next Door’s Holiday Gift Giving program offers donors from the community the chance to adopt Next Door families or classrooms and purchase gifts for them. Next Door provides information about the family and students, like the kinds of toys they like, clothing sizes, favorite colors and household needs. This year, the Harmon’s received a family of three – a father and his two boys.

“The boys wanted cars and trucks like Hot Wheels and Hot Wheels tracks. There were learning toys for the younger child, clothing, socks and some household items on their list, too,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie and Javon love the chance to both shop for the gifts and deliver them all wrapped up to Next Door. They feel participating in an experience like this offers a tremendous sense of joy and reward.

“I think because God blessed us so much that we want to offer blessings to others and be able to put a smile on the kids’ faces and help the parent out and let them know there is someone out there that cares about them,” Javon said.

Over their five years participating in Next Door’s Holiday Gift Giving, the Harmon’s have adopted six families. Every year, they receive a Thank You note from the family in return.

“We always save them because it’s nice to know that they appreciate the gifts because you never know, you just never know,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie and Javon plan to continue giving to this program as long as they can and hope to recruit other members of their family to join them.

For 2019, Next Door hit a record of 84 families adopted by generous donors. Additional donors helped us cover every student in the 51 classrooms at our two center-based sites and our home-based program.

Along with individual donors, we receive hundreds of gifts from Milwaukee area companies, churches and community organizations. Volunteers also put in many hours of help wrapping the gifts we receive that come unwrapped.

If you’re interested in getting involved in our Holiday Gift Giving program in 2020, contact Next Door’s Volunteer Coordinator Martina Stevens at (414) 999-2529 or at

Thanks to everyone for your support this holiday season!