Every year our staff members chew their fingernails hoping that we will have enough holiday gifts to serve the refugee youth in our four DeKalb County afterschool programs. Every year, we have more students to provide for (this year 180!) and less hands to help coordinate the effort. But every year, the community comes together in a tremendous showing of generosity to make sure our youngest new neighbors feel welcome during the holidays.
A special KUDOS to all of you who have gone above and beyond to make the holidays special for the families we serve:
- Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga, through her Born This Way Foundation, donated yo-yos and V-Cubes to afterschool students to keep their minds engaged.
- Long-time friends Oak Grove UMC, led by Hank Woolard of our Advisory Council, again took part in our Secret Santa. This year they took our school coordinators shopping for most-desired items to ensure all our students had a happy holiday.
- The members of Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA) – headed up by Community Service Co-Chair Andrew Leba – have held a month-long drive for Secret Santa items for children and families – resulting in dozens of items for those we serve.
- Our friends at UNICEF sent over scarves for afterschool students – you can see them in many of our Secret Santa pictures.
- Mount Paran Church visited for the holidays again – dropping off 120 shoeboxes filled with hygiene and holiday items for newly arrived families.
- Luxury real estate brokers Engel & Volkers hosted their annual coat drive for refugee families.
From our friends at Oak Grove UMC to Lady Gaga and her Foundation friends, we say THANK YOU.
Here are just a few photos of the smiles you helped generate this holiday season!