At our annual North Grand Villas Christmas party yesterday, I met a new family. They moved in just a week ago. The kids saw the party going on and decided to check it out. After we handed out goodie bags to all the kids, their mom approached me. She told me “Thank you. This goodie bag is the only present my kids will get this year.” She then began to cry. I sat down next to her and she began to tell me about the difficulties they’ve experienced the past few months. We’re going to be able to help them out today with a few more gifts and groceries to get them through the week and make their Christmas a little more special. As busy and crazy as life gets for us this time of year, I’m so thankful for it. We were able to be in just the right place at just the right time for a mom overwhelmed with fear, worry, and shame. We can only do that because of so many of you who give of your time, resources, and prayers. So, on behalf of her family – and countless others in our apartment communities: Thank You.
Read further to learn more about the past couple of weeks and to see pictures of all the fun.
December is always a busy and incredible time for us. For our Christmas gift outreach, this year we partnered with our friends at the Hillside North Grand Campus for the Sharing Tree Christmas store. Families in need were able to shop for 2 toys for each of their children for $5 per kid or 5 canned goods. We invited all our families to come and shop and alleviate a huge financial burden. So many of them responded, and it was a huge blessing. Overall, we served over 1100 kids from over 300 families. And somehow we didn’t run out of toys! Thanks to so many of you who shopped, gave, and served to help us pull it off.
This week, we celebrated Christmas and another great year with our annual Christmas parties at each of our 7 apartment communities. We ate a ton of Chick-Fil-A nuggets (over 1000), heard the Christmas story, and had a great time. Each child got a gift bag (stuffed by the residents and staff of the at the Park Central Retirement Community). We handed out nearly 140 goodie bags – which means we had a great attendance this week.