An OU football player's mother is using her personal experience to spread holiday cheer this Christmas season.
As a single mom, Jatika Criddell works day in and day out to provide for her kids
“Me and my children, as a single mom, we had to rely on community centers and things like that to make sure that we had holidays and thanksgiving,” said Criddell.
This is something that has stuck with her through the years and inspired her to start her own nonprofit.
“Heart of Goals is something that is near and dear to my heart. We really want to give back to communities that are underserved and don’t have much,” said Criddell, the founder of the nonprofit Heart of Goals.
This year, Heart of Goals will be providing 500 kids with toys for Christmas. Criddell said the community makes it worth it; like her fellow OU football moms who support the event every year.
“We do a wrap party, so we get together the night before and wrap all the gifts for the children, and we also hand them out with the assistance of our sons,” she said.
Heart of Goals will host the holiday toy drive at Pitts Park on December 17. So far, they have raised enough money to buy 200 gifts.
“The way this economy is right now, by allowing kids to get some gifts that they probably would not receive, it is a way to get out into the community be viable and do some good things,” Lenora Ware, the program coordinator at Pitts Park.
Those who want to participate can donate on the Heart of Goals' website or drop off a gift at any Fade N Up locations in the metro.
“I grew up didn’t have the best of anything growing up all I had was my family. I didn’t have people like this growing up that donated to the kids. When you’re doing it for the kids it’s a beautiful thing and it just uplifts a community and makes everyone happy,” said Corey Sutter “Scissorhands," who owns Fade N Up.