Each year, our Volunteer Coordinator Tracy manages to reach out to local congregations and business and families to help make Christmas a little brighter for our EECM families. This year, we received more than 2100 gifts and gift cards which were distributed to adults and children in our Housing Programs, Food Pantry clients, and the youth in our in- and after-school programs.
In December, a group from the Sewickley Academy Student Council played Santa to hundreds of the youth we serve. Each year around Christmas time, the lower school at Sewickley Academy collects toys for kids in our programs for our Christmas gift drive. The Student Council runs the drive and collects and counts all the toys. This year, a big box was placed outside each classroom and students dropped toys in for 3 or 4 weeks. Their goal was to have one toy from each student in the Lower School, which would have been about 250 toys.
On December 19, two vans came to Community House from Sewickley Academy, filled with 7 students, 2 teachers, and MORE THAN 300 TOYS. Bags and boxes and carts full of toys! After the vans were unloaded, Tracy talked for a few minutes to the students about the EECM kids who will receive these toys, often the only Christmas gifts they will have.
In addition to the Sewickley Academy toys, other individuals and congregations provided more than 2100 gifts for more than 700 people in our programs. Thanks to ALL who helped us to give the gift of a happy holiday to so many families!