Sharing Holiday Cheer
During a normal year, our program participants and our staff come together twice throughout the year at our annual picnic and holiday party. These are opportunities for us to simply spend time with one another while celebrating the winter holidays and summer months with music, food, and dancing.
Early on in the 2020 pandemic we didn't truly understand how much our day-to-day would be affected and how long it would last. We never expected that we'd have to cancel BOTH our picnic or our annual holiday party. Our participants love gathering together, whether it's a casual day in the office, our small community inclusion events, or larger events like the picnic and holiday party. It's an understatement to say that we all were a little disappointed that our 2020 plans have taken such a turn. As time went on, like so many others, we hoped that after months of distancing ourselves from one another we would finally be able to gather for the holidays. Unfortunately, we need to continue to protect each other while we wait for it to be safe to be together once again, and we can't gather this holiday season.
Despite not gathering in person, we wanted to ensure that our participants know that we've been thinking of them and miss spending time together, especially as we approach the holidays. Our staff worked in shifts and physically distant from one another to put together 550 holiday treat bags so that each and every one of our participants will receive a gift this season. Each festive bag included plenty of treats, cozy blankets, and warm wishes. It's not a replacement for gathering together, but we hope the personal delivery of each of these bags will bring a little bit of holiday cheer to end a very long year.