A classroom full of kids will have a merrier Christmas thanks to the generosity of clients at Body by Design in Ahwatukee Foothills.
Each year the studio adopts a class of kids at Wilson Primary School and acts as “Santa’s Helpers,” purchasing gifts and outfits for each of the kids. It’s a tradition they’ve been keeping up with since about 2006 when the owner, Carlos Monge, was approached by a client.
“One of my clients was a police detective and he had been training with me for a few years,” Monge said. “He said, ‘Carlos I’m getting ready to retire but I need someone to do me a favor.’ I said, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘I need you to take over this class we always adopt.’”
The detective told Monge he and the department had been adopting a class at Wilson Primary School for years but he needed someone else to take over the project and Body by Design, with its good number of clients, might have enough support to take it on. Monge agreed.
Each year the school sends the studio a list of kids in a third-grade classroom. The list contains the kids’ names and their shirt, pants and shoe size. The kids all write a letter to Santa, which is also sent to the studio. Clients at the studio select a child to go shopping for and bring back gifts and clothes, wrapped and ready to be delivered. Monge and several clients volunteer their time to deliver the gifts, watch as the kids open them, and then help them set up their new toys. They usually bring Santa along with them to help pass out the gifts.
“What I preach to my clients here is a wellness program is not just physical, it’s also a spiritual thing,” Monge said. “People that do good usually take care of themselves pretty good also. If you don’t take yourself spiritually how are you going to take care of yourself physically? It’s a package.”
Monge said he’s been blessed over the years with clients ready and willing to help out. Each year they have no problem finding someone to adopt each child on their list. In fact, the first year Body by Design took over the gift drive one client wasn’t able to adopt a student but instead decided to double the gifts for every student on the list.
“I always tell my clients I’m blessed to have them,” Monge said. “They support my wife and my kids. When they get involved like this it’s above and beyond. Being a small business owner, sometimes businesses have trouble surviving. This is a blessing for us to have the kind of clients that get involved and are generous.”
This year, Body by Design will deliver the gifts on Dec. 20 to more than 25 students at the school.
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