This month, between the holiday decorations, multiple visits from Santa Claus, and gifts for hundreds of our participants from dozens of generous donors, the halls of Alternatives For Girls have been looking a lot like the North Pole. December has been a month of celebration and happiness, thanks to our holiday giving program, Project Giving Tree (PGT), and the multiple holiday parties thrown by the programs at AFG. Because a vast majority of the girls and women in our programs celebrate Christmas, we do host several holiday parties which include Christmas activities. However, throughout the month, other traditions are also celebrated in various ways.
Each year, as a part of PGT, the girls and young women of AFG 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 and board games. Once the wish lists are filled out, they are then “adopted” by businesses, organizations, local churches, and individual supporters. This year, our generous PGT donors fulfilled over 300 wish lists, as well as additional items for dozens of families!
The gifts collected during PGT are given to the girls at each program’s holiday party throughout the month of December. The Shelter party included both current and past residents and their families. The festive party was complete with a DJ playing holiday music, a delicious dinner, and candy favors for everyone, including the children of the young women.
The highlight of the event was a visit from St. Nick himself! All of the children were thrilled to meet him and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. After getting her picture taken with Santa, one young girl shared what she asked for, “I told him I want a doll!” she exclaimed.
After Santa left, some of the young women preformed beautiful renditions of holiday hits such as “O Holy Night” and “All I Want For Christmas is You”. Their beautiful voices could be heard all throughout the building! Finally, over 30 girls received gifts from PGT and spent the rest of the evening spending time with loved ones.
Outreach held three separate parties for their Safe Choices, New Choices, and Peer Education programs. While Prevention held its annual craft fair, during which the youth create holiday crafts and receive their PGT gifts, and a separate family party, which allowed two dozen families to eat a delicious dinner together and receive gifts for their children.
AFG would like to thank each and every person who participated in Project Giving Tree this year, as well as the wonderful volunteers and sponsors who made all of our holiday parties possible!