Bringing Christmas Joy to Families Experiencing Homelessness
This Christmas morning, hundreds of families in San Diego will wake up without a home of their own.
However, when a family wakes up on Christmas morning in one of Father Joe’s Villages’ shelters for families, they not only have warmth, safety and support, they also have access to Christmas gifts and events aimed to help children and families achieve normalcy and experience joy during a difficult time.
Melissa and her newborn daughter, Kylie, experienced the annual holiday celebrations at Father Joe’s Villages while living in the organization’s Family Living Center. With Christmas drawing near, Melissa felt disappointed that she did not have the means to provide a magical experience for Kylie’s first Christmas. She was overjoyed to discover that Father Joe’s Villages worked hard each year to create a jubilant holiday season for families and children experiencing homelessness.
“They make Christmas really special. They have Santa there, and they have wrapped gifts that were donated that the kids can open. The staff goes above and beyond with the Christmas celebrations.”
For decades, Father Joe’s Villages has been ensuring that families and children experiencing homelessness enjoy a special Christmas. To give hope to families in need, Father Joe’s Villages’ staff, donors, and volunteers work countless hours to bring the Christmas spirit to children in need.
The Father Joe’s Villages Ladies Guild fund festive gifts for children staying in the organization’s shelters. These gifts, chosen by parents, ensure that children in need can enjoy an enchanted Christmas morning and help parents feel empowered in making the holidays special.
Additionally, a special group of donors and community members are coming together to host a socially-distanced Children’s Christmas Party where the children will receive specially-chosen gifts given to them by Santa himself (along with his elves) within a magically-decorated winter wonderland, courtesy of Pacific Event Productions.
Old Town Trolley Tours is also continuing their decades-old tradition of providing an exclusive trolley experience and gifts to children in Father Joe’s Villages’ programs. This year, Santa and Mrs. Claus are visiting and distributing the gifts from a festively decorated trolley parked in front of the Joan Kroc Center.
Together, these annual holiday celebrations at Father Joe’s Villages provide normalcy to children and hope for a brighter future for families.
“I was destitute at the time, and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do any Christmas shopping,” Melissa said. “It brought a sense of normalcy to the holidays. It helped me give Kylie that ‘WOW Factor’ that kids feel when they get gifts at Christmas – when they receive a wrapped gift and their eyes get all big and they are so excited. It allowed Kylie to experience that.”
This holiday season, support Father Joe’s Villages’ Family Services by giving a gift that will never be forgotten. A donation of any amount will make a lasting difference in the lives of children experiencing homelessness.
Give online at my.neighbor.org or call (619) HOMELESS (466-3537) to bring holiday cheer to a family in need today.