Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas at the Mission

Christmas at the Mission was a joy to behold. So many volunteers tried in everyway possible to make this day a little brighter for our residents. It was clear that they succeeded. Due to the help of many volunteers the follow actions and events made the days proceeding Christmas and Christmas Day a reflection of the love of God.
· A week before Christmas many in the community put together their favorite holiday dishes and delivered them to the Mission with recipes attached.
· One day before Christmas volunteers decorated the dining rooms at both our Market and Jefferson Street campuses. Iroquois Presbyterian Church members facilitated a Christmas party for the men our shelter.
· Many volunteers began cooking and mixing the donated potluck dishes in preparation for the big day.
· Christmas Eve found the volunteers still at work preparing. Priscilla Ariori, working with several clients, began cleaning and cooking chitterlings that would be served the next day.
· Many other volunteers worked on the food line preparing turkey and ham.
· Former Governor John Y. Brown III, his son and other friends and family members worked in the kitchen during the afternoon helping to prepare for Christmas Day.
· About 7 PM on Christmas Eve Santa arrived at the Market Street Family and Women’s campus showering the children with gifts that were given by family sponsors from the community. Hundreds of families, businesses and churches sponsored families staying at the Family Shelter, past family shelter residents, as well as, women in the Single Women’s Shelter. Santa worked hard handing out gifts as Virginia Taylor, the Mission’s choir, director led in Christmas songs.
· Christmas day began with breakfast, eggs to order and volunteers to serve our residents at their seats. Pancakes, bacon and sausage were all part of the menu.
· Lunch and dinner included traditional Christmas delights: turkey, ham and too many side dishes to count. Not so traditional was the preparation and serving of chitterlings, a southern dish that I will not go into in this blog. These were wonderful meals for our residents.
· Volunteers facilitated Karaoke during the afternoon, conducted bingo and awarded prizes to many residents, and a couple from the Louisville Orchestra played wonderful Christmas music in the background, warming hearts of all.
· As Christmas day began to wind down, two young boys, their father and their aunt arrive, candy canes in hand. “The boys wanted to hand out candy canes, then we would like to help in the kitchen”, the aunt said. That was the kind of day it was at the Mission.

Our thanks to God for leading his people our way to help make this Christmas special and meaningful in so many ways.