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December has been filled with joy and celebration, thanks to our holiday giving program Project Giving Tree (PGT). Each year, the girls and young women at Alternatives For Girls create a wish list that includes items they are in need of that year. The wish lists include items such as clothing, winter boots, coats, scarves, and gloves, as well as fun items such as books, jewelry, or toys.
Once the wish lists are filled out, they are adopted by businesses, organizations, church groups, and individuals. This year, our generous PGT donors fulfilled hundreds of wish lists!
The gifts collected during PGT are given to the girls and young women at each program’s holiday party throughout the month of December. Every party was filled with wonderful food, games, arts & crafts, and music.
The first party of the month was for the Safe Choices program, which serves women of all ages through street outreach. With the help of volunteers, the AFG Street Outreach vans drive around and pick up women who are part of the Safe Choices program. The party included a delicious meal, beautiful decorations, and time to share what they had learned this year. One former New Choices graduate, a program for women exiting sex work, recalled how she first heard about the New Choices program from an AFG Street Outreach volunteer. Once she joined the program, she was able to get her ID card and find a job as a cook, which is one of her favorite things to do. Another gradate shared, “AFG helped me love myself. It took a long time for me to learn to love me.”
The Shelter held an eventful party for the young women and children in AFG’s Shelter programs. The night began with a bountiful meal, and included a DJ and a photo booth! Later in the evening, the children had the chance to meet Santa Claus and the young women listened to a performance from a local comedian. All of these awesome services were provided by volunteers!
AFG’s Outreach program held a party for the Peer Educators, while the AFG Prevention program held its annual craft fair. At the end of all of the parties, the girls and young women received their gifts from the generous Project Giving Tree donors. Plenty of smiles filled the room as each girl and young woman opened her gifts.
Alternatives For Girls would like to thank each person who participated in Project Giving Tree this year, as well as the wonderful volunteers and sponsors who made all of the holiday parties possible!