Christmas miracle set to arrive at homes of sick children, victims of domestic violence, widows and struggling families

Local nonprofit celebrates the season by fulfilling wish lists and delivering happiness to families in need

TAMPA, FL (December 14, 2016) — In the spirit of kindness and goodwill, GTE Financial is fulfilling the Christmas wish lists of 19 families in Tampa Bay. The credit union adopts families every year for its Make Hope Real program, which aims to deliver happiness to those struggling with some of life’s greatest challenges. This year, GTE Financial will purchase everything on the wish lists of families who can barely make ends meet due to the financial commitment of caring for a sick child; a victim of domestic abuse now left on her own to care for her children; a widow and mom dealing with an unexpected tragedy; and, other families facing similar hardship. GTE Financial employees will deliver the gifts during the week of December 12.

“The holidays provide us with a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community and those who need us most,” says Brian Best, president and CEO of GTE Financial. “We believe in people helping people, and this initiative truly allows us to take a more personal approach in helping families and spreading joy to our members in need during the holidays,” added Best.

A Seffner mom and her daughter are among those adopted this year. Monica S. is a single mother to Heaven, a 14-year-old with Leigh’s disease, a rare inherited neurometabolic disorder that affects the central nervous system. Heaven has survived more than a decade past the life expectancy of those who suffer from the disease. Monica S. lost another daughter to the same disease at the age of six. She works long hours at a local convenience store to provide for Heaven, and her income is sometimes not enough. Monica’s local GTE Financial center adopted them for the holidays and will work to make all their Christmas wishes come true.

Of GTE Financial’s 22 community financial centers, 19 will adopt a family of their own and learn about their needs via a family wish list. GTE Financial will purchase all of the items on the wish lists, wrap, and then deliver them to the families.

This is the third year that GTE Financial has adopted families for the holidays. All families adopted are members of the credit union.

About GTE Financial

GTE Financial is a not-for-profit financial cooperative located throughout West Central Florida with $2.9 billion in assets and 23 Community Financial Centers. Chartered in 1935, GTE Financial is locally owned and operated in the Tampa Bay area, serving more than 230,000 individuals and businesses. For more information on GTE Financial, visit For more information, interviews, or media requests, please call (813) 644-7443 or email Savannah Cruz at


Savannah Cruz

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