This Christmas season, our mission was to ensure that the joy of giving reached everyone, especially in a year filled with unique challenges. For over 30 years, we've dedicated our time and resources to Christmas in the City, and despite not being able to host our usual large gathering of shelters, we committed to making the magic of Christmas come alive for over 70 homeless children.
Thanks to the generosity of our clients, we fulfilled every child's dream with a personalized gift, a backpack filled with school supplies, and essentials like diapers. We also managed to secure over 500 books for the shelter, ensuring that each child received not just pajamas and their most wished-for present but also the gift of reading.
Our efforts culminated in a spectacular event at the Torigan Family YMCA, transforming it into a winter wonderland of joy and activities. Tables were laden with crafts for miniature snowman creation, gingerbread house decoration, alongside board games, basketball, and a feast for all. The air was filled with the melodies of live Christmas music by Jacob Winthrop and Julia Massey, under whose tunes children danced with colorful ribbon twirlers, their laughter echoing through the venue.
The highlight was witnessing the children's faces light up with unbridled joy as they received their presents. This moment of pure happiness was a touching affirmation for all our volunteers, whose tireless efforts behind the scenes made such magic possible. Preparations had our offices brimming with gifts, and days were spent meticulously tagging backpacks — each carefully filled with winter clothing, ChapStick, and other necessities, collected and prepared during countless work hours. We even arranged full sets of pans and other cooking supplies for the shelter, loading everything into our cars in the early dawn to ensure their arrival at the event.
Reflecting on the day, the shelter coordinator's words resonated deeply with us: "I would like to thank each and every one of you. It was more than I could have imagined, and every family had an amazing time. The donations far exceeded what we could have hoped for and will be put to great use."
This years' experience, while challenging, taught us the invaluable lesson of adaptability and the profound impact of collective effort. As we look forward to continuing our tradition, we are reminded that the spirit of giving not only brightens the present but also lights the way for a hopeful future.