Caroling Party at Empower
A wonderful and festive time was had by all, when on Friday, December 9, a group of us were able to take gift bags, sing Christmas Carols, and host a little reception for the folks that participate in the Empower program – an Easter Seals Wellness and Recreation program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Tom Cullison, our choir director, led us in many of our favorite carols and it was quite lively with participation by all! The gift bags included a beautiful knitted item from the Twisted Sisters group and a holiday card from UCF. We were so happy to be able to bring this tradition back after having to skip last year due to Covid! Now that we are in our new building, they are literally down the street!
Holiday Gift Bags
This year we continued our tradition of giving holiday gift bags to clients of Beach House, a program for adults with severe and persistent mental illness, and to residents of Hope Mission’s Homeless Shelters and Recovery Programs. The bags contained a $25 Walmart gift card, a handmade (knitted or crocheted) item from the Twisted Sisters, a holiday greeting card, socks, and small oral care items.
This was possible due to the generosity of the Twisted Sisters; our congregation where about $4,000 was contributed in addition to socks and oral care items; and the many volunteers who shopped, organized, stuffed, and delivered bags.
Hope Mission received 59 holiday gift bags. Beach House received 21.
Our congregation’s vision is to be a visible presence in the community, growing a just world through spiritual enrichment, compassionate action, and free religious inquiry. This holiday gift bag tradition is a perfect match for that vision.