Five Things You Missed This Holiday Season
The YWCA Central Indiana had a wonderful Christmas. Families living in our crisis shelter were busy decorating the building, baking homemade treats, and spreading joy and laughter during our many holiday parties. Here are five ways we celebrated the Season of Giving:
- Aiden got his boots. Last week we shared a touching story by a young boy living with his mom in our crisis shelter. The response was overwhelming – friends spread the message over lunch meetings, churches read the letter aloud during services, and Facebook users shared the post to their timelines. Everyone wanted to help Aiden and his mom. As a result, we received blankets, boots, toys and accessible food for his family.
Marta Guinn noticed the post and immediately shared the story with her sons who weren’t much older than Aiden. Marta’s son Blaze picked a few Christmas gifts of his own to donate to Aiden and made a trip to Meijer to purchase the remaining goods. Blaze learned that Aiden was a Star Wars fan and donated everything from Star Wars toothpaste to a brand new Star Wars camping kit – complete with tent, sleeping bag, and pillow.
Aiden, along with the other women and children living at the YWCA, enjoyed all of their gifts on Christmas morning. Thank you to the many groups and individuals that made Christmas Merry for the YWCA ladies and children.
- The YWCA Residents adopted a Christmas Tree in honor of their own adversity. As the YWCA residents were decorating the YW building for Christmas, they noticed one particular tree that was not quite cooperating. This tree had mismatched ornaments, sat lopsided in its base, and no matter how much they fluffed the branches, it still exposed bald spots. Amid grumblings of the uncooperative nature of this tree, a resident expressed her affection for it. She explained to the others, “The Christmas tree is like us. It’s not perfect and it’s a little crazy, but it is still shining this Christmas season. It’s still doing its job.” Attitudes quickly shifted regarding the Christmas tree, and it became a symbol that motivated residents throughout December.
- The Community Room got a facelift. With holiday cheer spreading like wildfire around the YW, we knew our Community Room needed a facelift. The space would be hosting three holiday parties for the YWCA ladies and kiddos. Chelsi Shultz of Navient offered to send employees to paint the outdated space. Two groups of 5-7 employees spent their afternoons taping off trim, painting the Community Room, and cleaning up after. In less than one week, Navient had the project completely done from planning, to executing, to finishing. Kudos to Navient and their corporate community spirit!
- Santa Claus visited the YWCA – On a Fire Truck! You read that right: Santa Claus visited the YWCA on a bright red fire truck, escorted by the Muncie Police Department. During our Christmas Dinner, the Boy Scout Troops #49 and #22 led by Matt Gossage cooked dinner for over 150 people. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, corn, and rolls were cooked using all five facility kitchens. A local Girl Scout Troop served the YWCA residents and guests hors d’oeuvres donated by Vera Mae’s Bistro. The YWCA residents also had a full ice cream bar complete with every topping imaginable donated by the Hockwalt family. A local AAU softball team donated Christmas stockings for the ladies and kiddos to enjoy. It was a fun night!
- We received unexpected gifts. In December Dr. Phillips DDS brought in gifts he gathered with the help of his patients. His office collected money and toys in exchange for discounted teeth whitening services. We also received a large gift from the employees at Ontario System, who decided to sponsor the 61 families living at the YWCA during December. Right before our Christmas Party, E & B Paving donated a ham for Christmas Dinner. These donations allowed us to give the YWCA families living in our crisis shelter and transitional resident programs a Christmas full of joy and love.
If your family or organization would like to be involved with the YWCA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are accepting applications for volunteers and groups for service projects. Check out our donation requests here.