As you may have seen on our @AlexHouseMN social media page, Holiday Shop this year was a success! I am so grateful to have been a part of the planning and implementation of the 2020 Holiday Shop and am thrilled to share with you my experience in hopes of giving you a glimpse of what Holiday Shop looked like and the impact it made. As advocates walked out with countless bags of toys, blankets, food, and everything else needed for the holidays, there were many happy tears shed.
Alexandra House overwhelmed by the generosity of our community! The amount and diversity of the gifts, gift cards, and food allowed advocates to make this holiday season truly memorable for clients and their families. Each client was given a goody bag for themselves, a bag (for each child) stuffed with toys, games, gift cards, stuffed animals, pajamas, socks, and blankets, and a holiday food box that included a turkey, stuffing, potato mix, corn, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, cake mix, frosting, and sprinkles! PLUS, it included a ‘cookie decorating kit’ with homemade frosting, gingerbread men, and other sugar cookie cutouts for a fun family night of cookie decorating. Clients also received wrapping paper and other gifting material to bring that holiday spirit to their household! Finally, we were able to give every family a $25 gift card to a grocery store for whatever extra food supplies or gifts they needed to purchase.
Alexandra House staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to make sure this year’s shop was a success, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. They picked out clothes, toys, and more thoughtfully, conferring with one another what a fourteen-year-old girl means when she asks for ‘hair stuff.’ They made sure each child received a gift to make them go “WOW!” Executive Director Connie Moore put it best: “The holidays are a particularly difficult time for folks who are trying to put their lives back together, so our being able to help bring some hope and dignity back into their lives at this time is a privilege and an honor.”
One moment from Holiday Shop that will forever stick with me is when a client told me that being a part of Holiday Shop and visiting Alexandra House was like coming home. Alexandra House is a home for many; we have beds, food, books, all the good things you hope to have in a home. But it’s also more than that; home is where one feels comfortable, safe, and appreciated. It gives people a safe place to hope and dream. Your support allows us to show clients how a home can be a safe and loving place and give them the tools to create their own.
This event would not be possible without the incredible support we receive from community members. Donors and volunteers help to make the holiday season a memorable one for Alexandra House families. Thanks to everyone who gives their time, material goods, and money towards helping families in need! 45 families have much brighter holidays because of your support.
Amanda Fulk, Community Engagement Coordinator