I am pleased to share that the YSB provided another group of residential youth with an amazing Christmas experience!
Our Christmas celebration is filled with an entire month full of Christmas related recreation activities, but things really get going when the residents start receiving their Secret Santa gifts. Each resident had two staff assigned to them this year. One staff bought them $5 gifts for each of three days and then the other staff bought them $5 gifts for each of three days. On the seventh day, which was the night of our Residential Christmas Party, the residents opened their big gift from their Secret Santa’s. Some staff chose to team up for this gift and others wanted to purchase their own, so residents either received one $40 gift or two $20 gifts.
On the night of the party the residents, staff, and the staff guests enjoyed a Christmas feast prepared by Tina Bechtol. Like always the food was wonderful and the residents especially love all the tasty desserts! After everyone has eaten their fill we get the lounge area cleaned up and ready for presents. The first gifts to be passed out are the Secret Santa gifts. The residents open them and then try to guess which staff had them. I think there was only one correct guess this year, but staff and resident alike enjoyed the fun and mystery around this activity again.
After that it is then time for the residents to receive their haul of Christmas presents. Each resident gets a large Santa bag filled with gifts. The residents open them and then take turns sharing what they received. This year there were a lot of new shoes and new clothes. They always receive really nice name brand items that they often times do not have the opportunity to receive outside of care so it is always exciting to see their reaction when they receive something that they really wanted! Yvonne Duff, typically does the majority of the Christmas shopping for the residents each year. Yvonne has a knack for being able to pick out just the right gifts for each resident.
A lot of the time our residents are able to go home and be with someone from their family for at least part of Christmas day, but sometimes there are one or more who have no place to go for Christmas. When this happens we make sure that they have some additional presents to open Christmas morning along with having a big breakfast and getting to stay in pajamas for most of the day.
We would like to once again thank all of this year’s donors as it is with your support that we are able to create these long lasting Christmas memories and take the residents on numerous outings throughout the year!
YSB Executive Director