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Bring Joy and Magic to their Holidays

Updated on February 06, 2018

The end of October is here. It's the time of year that brings together family and friends to celebrate all things associated with the beginning of fall, the onset of winter and, of course, the holiday season.

For many of us, family traditions become topics of discussion, along with reflecting on what's important in our lives. Soon bells will be ringing in front of local shops and stores, incredible displays of holiday decorations and Christmas lights will be up across the metro, in neighborhoods and our homes. Children will begin finalizing their "wish lists" after putting months of thoughtful planning and their dreams into that all-important list for their families. For most of us, it's a time of excitement, child-like joy, reflection, time with our loved ones and friends and hope for what is to come.

But, what are the holidays like when you are a teenager spending the holidays alone? Many of our teens have never experienced a holiday with joy and love. They have no memories sitting by the fireplace sipping hot cocoa from mugs, playing board games with cousins or singing carols while gathered around the Christmas tree. Last year, one child at our holiday celebration, shared he had never felt so much love.

Youth Services provides life changing services to vulnerable youth that focus on stable housing, meeting basic needs, teaching life skills, counseling and guiding them to achieve their educational and vocational goals as they transition into self-sustaining adults in our community.

For 45 years, we've been "Changing Young Lives" and because of supporters like you, we have been able to help young people like Daniel. Last year, Daniel attended our holiday celebration and was truly moved by the touching and festive display of kindness and generosity. 

"Thank you, Youth Services, for everything that I received," Daniel said. "I'm really grateful and thank you. God bless you!"

We were able to give Daniel, and all our kids that would not have had a Christmas celebration, a joyous and memorable holiday that was truly magical and a blessing to all. Some kids received gifts for the first time in their lives exclaiming with eagerness and delight, "These gifts are for me? I've never been given a Christmas gift before."

We even heard from a young mom whose child was receiving outpatient services. Serenity shared, "Thank y'all so much for giving the kiddos Christmas. Seeing their excitement made my holiday, as their mom. They loved everything and I am grateful and humbled that they received their wishes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

As we approach the holidays, our wish is that you will give a gift of hope to these young people - a feeling of normalcy just like their peers. A gift of any size will help us provide additional resources during the holiday and winter months to meet our youths' needs. Gifts received by November 15 will be specifically used to meet their holiday wishes and winter needs. Please donate today and continue to partner with us in "Changing Young Lives."