Wow! What a month December was at The Haven. The last few weeks were pretty hectic and amazing for us for a few reasons. With Christmas Adopt-a-Family, year-end donations, holiday parties, and networking opportunities staff and volunteers stayed busy ensuring 2018 ended on high note.
First, our Christmas Adopt-a-Family program was in full swing as we worked to fulfill the wishes of the individuals and families that we had provided services to over the last year. We received an overwhelming amount of support for our program and were able to adopt over 29 families with a total of 64 children and help them deck the halls, fill stockings, and have toys under the tree. As presents poured into our offices and mothers came to receive their packages, it was clear how lucky we are to live within a community that is supportive and understanding of the crucial services that we provide.
RCofC youth spent their time during the year to sew blessing bags for residents and presented them to The Haven in December. Each bag was filled with a heartfelt note, lotion, hand sanitizer, tissues, bath bomb, hair ties, and luffa. In addition, Aylett Country Day School middle schoolers competed in a Blue & White canned food drive "war" for our food pantry. The students collected over 200 canned goods that program participants will have access to when they are in need. This is such a great way for groups to become involved and fulfill our current needs.
Year-end donations from organizations like Quinton Oaks Senior Men's League, The Kinsale Foundation, Cole Charitable Trust, Northern Neck Rotary Charitable Fund, and over 150 individual donors helped us reach our end of year goals. Our 12 Days of Christmas Market also brought in donations through vendor fees and donations. One of our vendors, Shiloh Baptist Church, sold handmade items and donated all of the proceeds back to The Haven. We finished the year strong bringing in nearly $50,000 during the month of December.
We could not have brought in the new year without a visit from Santa and a holiday party for staff and shelter residents. Decorations, music, with good food and conversation, allowed us all to take a moment before the last two weeks of the year to reflect on the journey each of us had taken over the last 350 or so days. Some harder than others, but a journey for all to a more positive place in their life.
Wishing you and yours a happy and magical New Year. We hope 2019 brings you joy and happiness. Thank you for making 2018 a great year for staff, volunteers, and all we have served at The Haven.