Once again this year we are happily sponsoring one of the most magical holiday events in our fair city. No, I’m not talking a light display or a Christmas village, I’m talking about Holiday House at the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. Although many of us don’t even know this event takes place, I can assure you, over the many years it has been established, it has touched and even changed a whole bunch of lives.
People show up at Atlanta Children’s Shelter after a series of unfortunate events or sometimes even as the result of one life changing moment. They find themselves with kids, no job (or one that doesn’t earn enough to pay for a place to live) and very few options. The shelter brings them in and the holistic experience intended to stabilize that family begins.
Beyond transition into permanent housing, ACS takes care of these kids during the day, teaching them skills to make sure they’re school ready. They help ensure the family has clothes, necessary household goods, medical care and helps the parents level up and acquire the skills they need to get the kinds of jobs that will allow them to provide for their families. They truly are a stepping stone from nothing to stable with plenty of support along the way.
This kind of help is extraordinary but one thing that ACS understands well is that one thing that is in very short supply when you are homeless is dignity. This is where their Holiday House event comes in to play. They spend weeks preparing and setting up what is basically a mini department store. They organize toys by age and skills, have piles of books, clothes and house hold goods available for the parents to “shop” for -all in a festive environment full of decorations and music. When the parents arrive to “shop”, they are offered a warm beverage like cider or hot chocolate before they meet their “Personal shopper”. These volunteer shoppers ask questions to get to know the kids that will be the recipients of the gifts in order to help the parents pick out the best suited gifts for them. Once they have their items picked out, the parents take their treasures to other volunteers to gift wrap. When they are done shopping, they are treated to a warm meal (all provided by volunteers and sponsors) before they head back out into the real world. It’s truly magical to see the joy parents have when they know they’re going to be able to give something special to their kids. Where there could be shame, ACS and their volunteers provide an abundance of love.
We’ve looked through the wish lists from the Atlanta Children’s Shelter and used it to create an Amazon wish list to make shopping super easy. If you’d prefer to not shop off that list, that’s perfectly fine. You can use it for inspiration and shop elsewhere. ACS has programing for kids from newborn -6 years old but they also support the whole family so there’s always a need for items for older kids and teenagers. For shipping information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on social media. You can choose to ship it directly to us or the shelter. Regardless, if you do please include a note saying who it’s from so we know who to thank.
If you’d like to donate straight to the Shelter, you can do so HERE
Our Amazon Wish List for Atlanta Children’s Shelter is HERE
If you’d like to volunteer for the Holiday House event that is taking place from December 6-10 shoot us an email at Info@shiftatlanta.org or send a message on social media.
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