As we prepare to celebrate another Christmas holiday and the spirit of giving, I would like to share with you one of my most favorite gifts of all time. That gift is the laughter of children and them being able to experience an evening that will hopefully remain in their heart and minds forever.
My company decided this year to not have the normal Christmas party for the employees and instead give back to those less fortunate. Through our previous contacts with The Samaritan Inn in McKinney and City House in Plano, we were able coordinate efforts to provide a special evening for the homeless children and their families that reside at these two extraordinary charitable organizations. With the help of our employees along with the support of several of the vendors and their employees that we have a relationship with, we were able to put in motion a plan for a Christmas party that I will always remember and feel so blessed to be a part of.
We were able to reserve the entire facility at Main Event in Frisco for three hours from 6-9 pm so that the children and their families had the whole place to themselves. The Christmas party became a reality on Sunday night, December 1 and I believe exceeded expectations of all those involved. The best part was that the children and their families had no idea of the evening ahead other than they knew they were going to a Christmas party! At this time, I would like to share a post from The Samaritan Inn Facebook Page that were the thoughts of one of the children that attended the party and was titled “The BEST Christmas Party Ever.”
The BEST Christmas Party Ever!!
“Things have been hard for my mom and we had to move to a homeless shelter a couple of months ago. I didn’t think we would have Christmas presents this year, so I was excited when I found out we were going to a Christmas party.
When we stepped outside to leave The Samaritan Inn, I saw a very long limo. I had never seen one before and I was surprise at how big it was. When our case manager said with a smile, “Hop in”, I could hardly move my legs! It had music and lights inside and it was the fanciest thing I have ever seen. I felt like a rock star and I’ll always remember that ride!
When the car stopped, I was expecting to be back at the shelter, but the party was just beginning. When we got out of the limo, there was a red carpet stretched out, just like in the movies. About one hundred adults were there clapping and cheering – for me and my family. I was kind of shy, but it was so fun and I felt important and loved.
Once inside, it was a dream come true! Would you believe our hosts gave me an unlimited game card for the arcade? Then they told me there was unlimited pizza, soda, bowling and laser tag and I didn’t know what I wanted to do first! A magician, Rowdy from the Cowboys and Santa and Mrs. clause were all there and it was like a dream come true.
I noticed lots of presents under the Christmas tree, but figured they were just pretty decorations. Imagine how happy everyone was when they said there was a present for every kid! I didn’t know my mom had told them what size clothes I wear and what kind of toy I would like, but I’m saving the gift to open at Christmas. I can’t wait to see what is inside that box!
Thinking the night could not get any better, I was told to line up for a “truckload” of CANDY! Sure enough, there was a moving truck, and inside it was decorated with Christmas lights. I got to fill a stocking with full-sized candy bars that were all my favorites! This night could not get any better!
Well, it did! After the candy, they asked me to pick an unwrapped gift that I would love to take home and play with (to make it easier to wait to unwrap my other present!). I picked a basketball so I could play with my younger brother.
Santa and Mrs Clause wished us a Merry Christmas and we rode the limos back to The Samaritan Inn. I woke up three times to look at my wrapped gift and basketball, just to prove to myself that the Christmas party wasn’t just a dream.
I’m not sure why our hosts invited me to their party, but it was the best night of my life! I wish I could thank them in a special way.”
What this young man or woman did not realize was that the laughter and smiles on all of the children’s faces WAS their special way of saying thank you to us!!
In addition to the party itself, we had established a scholarship fund for any deserving high school seniors that were residents at either organization and had dreams of attending college. That evening we were able to award two students from City House Plano each a check in the amount of $3,000 to assist with their tuition and expenses next year.
Thank all of you that take the time to read this blog. May your hearts be filled with the joys of Christmas and I hope and pray that you enjoy your Christmas gift this year as much as I did mine that night!!!
Steve Lester is a REALTOR living in Allen, Texas.