On the 16th of December we had our Christmas party here at Clancy Street Ministries! Throughout the year we offer many programs from financial literacy to marriage/relationship building. To help us with recruiting and retaining folks we offer the opportunity to become part of the Adopt-A-Family Christmas party. So we keep track of the families who enter and graduate from our programs and during the fall we find donor families who are willing to provide gifts for the children and food for a Holiday meal. Every family who participated and graduated from a program this year was able to be adopted which meant that their children would receive a gift and an article of clothing at the minimum. Of course, with the love of our donor families most got much more.
This year fifty-two of our families received presents and food. Early in December the adopted families’ parents all received letters inviting them to come to a time between 1-4 PM on the 16th. Twenty donor families adopted all of those 52 families. One of those twenty donors was Fifth Reformed Church who took on twenty-five families. Thank you Lord! They put all of their names on a Christmas tree in church and families came up and took a name off the tree. On Wednesday the 13th they pulled up with a huge trailer and their Crown Financial Class unloaded a large pile of gifts.
ver the next couple of days gifts streamed in and were sorted by family. Late Friday night 24 turkeys “flew” in from Paul Huyser and many of his UPS colleagues who donated their Christmas turkeys from work to Clancy Street to help out with the food baskets. Saturday came and many donors came down to meet their families and take pictures and eat cookies and drink coffee.
The joy of giving and receiving were present in all. In one family the mom began to cry for joy when she saw their pile of gifts. She said to her donor family that, “we tried to do the right thing this Christmas and had paid all our bills first, but had nothing left for Christmas. Thank you for making Christmas possible!”
Many thanks go out to Fifth Reformed, First Reformed, New Community Youth Group, The Huysers, LaSalle Bank, Chemical Bank, The Church Herald, Horizons Gymnastics, Synod of the Great Lakes, The Wordens, Details Custom Solutions, Officer Gomez and the Grand Rapids Police Department Northeast Section.>