It’s a wrap on our annual gifting program, “Hope for the Holidays, Covid Edition!” All of the gift cards have been delivered to Operation Hope for social workers to distribute to clients. Your generosity has made a difference for 40 families and 81 adult individuals right here in our community. You have helped feed them and their families with literally thousands and thousands of dollars of grocery gift cards and supplied them with so many additional retail gift cards to make this holiday season brighter. THANK YOU! And most of all, THANK YOU to our very own angel, Evie Angel, who quickly and effortlessly pivoted to make this season’s “Hope for the Holidays” yet another success, ensuring the safety of our clients, staff and very limited number of volunteers this year while giving back hope and joy in a year that has taken so much from all of us.

Normally you all get to see a little of the “Hope for the Holidays” magic at work when you drop off gifts: the dozens of volunteers busily organizing and wrapping the room full of gifts, holiday music playing in the background and a sense of community that is truly palpable. Since 2020 is a year like no other, instead of gathering in the social hall at St. Anthony’s Church, “Hope for the Holidays” took place in the room above Evie’s garage. With the help of Evie’s daughter Chloe and 4 of Evie’s “social bubble” besties, they spent last Saturday night counting, sorting and wrapping the INSANE amount of gift cards that you so generously donated! And because it’s a pandemic, working from home in pajamas was a requirement!

A few words from Evie, “On a personal note, I’m still trying to find the right words to describe my gratitude for your unbelievable generosity this year. 2020 has been such a challenging year for all of us on so many fronts. After the extreme divisiveness in our country over the past few months, the way in which our community has pulled together to help our neighbors in need has truly restored my faith in the inherent goodness of people. I didn’t realize just how much I needed ‘Hope for the Holidays’ this year. For that alone, I say the biggest thank you.”

We wish you all the best as this year comes to a close and hoping for much brighter days in 2021!