Kids of the Community will host their annual Christmas party on December 16 where children and their families will enjoy a meal and receive gifts from sponsors.
Kids of the Community Program Director Megan Marttala said the party is the only opportunity for many of the children invited to receive any presents this holiday season. Marttala said the kids will receive clothes and presents on their wishlists as well as a stocking filled with essentials. Parents will receive a family basket with household supplies like towels and laundry detergent.
“I hope that they’re filled with a sense of hope and wonder and the kind of attitude that I think comes with Christmas in general,” Martella said. “People love them so much and care about them so much that they would take the time out of their day and take money out of their pockets to provide them with gifts and something for them to take home and use and play with for the rest of the year.”
Martalla said the kids in the program are often in single-parent households or foster care. Marttala said the party can be a big relief for guardians because their child will be provided with winter clothes and necessities that the family may not be able to afford. Kids make wishlists complete with clothes sizes so that sponsors can provide them with coats and hats in addition to the gifts they ask for.
“To be able to know that your kids are still growing so you’re going to go ahead and put that next size up,” Marttala said. “They have a brand new wardrobe essentially and then also knowing that your child is going to get those toys that your child has hoped for is a big burden relieved for a lot of these parents who are trying their best a lot of times to make ends meet.”
Marttala said the party is divided into two groups with the first group being served breakfast and opening their gifts, followed by lunch for the next group. Martalla said kids also pick out items for their families. Before opening their own presents, kids will choose items for siblings not in the program as well as their parents.
Sponsorship signups run through December 9, Marttala said. Martalla said that while it’s great for the kids to receive the bicycle they’ve always hoped for from gift sponsors, stocking sponsors are just as important, providing the children with things like toothpaste and shampoo. The program has some 120 kids in attendance each day