By Shayla DeVisser, WCA Residential Operations Manager
With the holiday season behind us we would like to take this time to reflect on the extremely generous and caring community we live in. For so many of our residents the holidays are a stressful time and this community steps up every year to ensure that the residents at the WCA are taken care of, this year was no exception.
During Thanksgiving we had a very kind donation from CenturyLink that meant so much to the resident and their children. They donated a 22-pound turkey with all the fixings. This brought smiles to so many of the residents’ faces and they all gathered together to make a Thanksgiving dinner that felt like home. A resident noted, “Thank you so much for allowing us to have a wonderful dinner and making our Thanksgiving special. We appreciate it more than words can say, it was a true blessing.”
During the month of December the generous donations and kind thoughts kept coming. We received two Christmas trees from the Festival of Trees; the Wizard of Oz tree donated by the ever-so-generous Anderson Family and the Super Heroes tree donated by our devoted sponsors the Norco Corporation. These trees literally, and figuratively, lit up the lives of the residents and their children. One child stated, “I’ve never seen a Christmas tree this beautiful before.” A mother expressed, “It means so much to me that people care, people care about me and my kids.” Our very own Lisa Uhlmann organized a very special, very touching Holiday Party for the residents. Chicago Connection donated pizza and Santa came all the way from the North Pole to give gifts and read Christmas stories to the children. A resident mentioned, “thank you for giving me and my children an amazing Christmas. It was so special and meant the world to us.”
We also had several other donations that touched the lives of the residents. A group from the Cathedral of the Rockies specially made sock monkeys and each child at the shelter received a sock monkey on Christmas morning. When a mother handed a sock monkey to her four-year-old son, he stood there frozen with his mouth open. The mother asked him if he was okay and the little boy grabbed the sock monkey and gave him a big hug and said, “I just love him!” He carried the sock monkey with him all day and slept with him at night. The mom said, “They are inseparable.” The mother also stated, “thank you for making gifts for the kids. They were so happy!”
It has been a wish for the Residential Operations Manager and many of the Client Advocates to be able to put together a movie library, game center, and arts and crafts bin for the residents. With the help of some very special people this wish came true. We are starting 2015 off right and have set up a movie night and game night in the shelter. This gives the opportunity for residents that had family night before they came into the shelter to continue with their traditions, and for others they can start new traditions with their family.
These are just some of the donations we received over the holiday season. The staff at the WCA is able to do what we do every day because of the help we receive from the community. When the residents know that they have people that believe in them and care about them, it provides them with hope. Hope for the future, hope for their children and to leave the past behind them.
If you are interested in putting together a special donation for the shelter you can contact Shayla DeVisser, Residential Operations Manager at email@example.com. For all other donations or volunteer opportunities, please go to our website or speak with Tami at 343-3688 ext. 41.
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