Every year, Innercity Arts holds a Christmas party for all of the youth in the program. It’s a special night, when both the older and younger groups come together, along with the volunteers, to celebrate the special time of year.
We were blessed this year to have some of our behind-the-scenes cooks prepare and serve a hot turkey meal. This included the fire department – who regularly cooks for the art group – and who brought mountains of food and stuck around to serve seconds and thirds.
It’s always a blessing to see these young people, who have so much turmoil and stress in their daily lives, relax and laugh together – exchanging gift, hugs and smiles.
Each youth was given a gift just for them. A gift bag with a gift card, chocolate, and art pens – along with a card made by their mentor with a personal message in it. Each gift bag also included a journal or sketch book chosen just for them.
We tried to choose a different book for each young person that suited their personality. For one young person, who has had a particularly difficult year, we chose a journal with a CS Lewis quote “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. ” When she opened the journal, I told her I hoped she liked it – and she exclaimed “I love it! CS Lewis is my favourite author!”
For another young person, we chose a journal that had a galaxy on it because she loves painting galaxies. When she opened it, she said “Oh my God! You guys must really love me!”
It was an awesome night, and we are so thankful to everyone who helped make this happen, including all of our amazing cooks, volunteers, the firefighters at Station 12 C and the Christmas Cheer Foundation.