On December 7th, 32 volunteers from the Edmonton chapter arrived at Rosslyn Seniors Lodge for their 5th annual Christmas Carolling Evening, serenading 36 Seniors. They started off the evening with 6 Festive Favourites, ending their first half singing "The 12 Days of Christmas," with all of the Seniors participating. They took a break to serve them hot chocolate and donuts and spending time to get to know them.
The second half started with two piano performances by two young girls, Selena Marks and Allyna Collis. That was followed by two teen-age girls, Sophia Narciso and Ashley Griffiths, singing two beautiful songs. They then performed a few Classic Christmas Hymns and closed the evening with "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," and the children handing out homemade treats. They also gave out their first door prize. The lady who received it was so thankful, she shared her treats with everyone. It was so encouraging to hear them saying comments like, "I remember you from last year," "I come every year," "I can`t wait till next year." There were many comments about how much they enjoyed the young performers.
As the volunteers were leaving, the lady at the front desk commented on how as the Seniors came by they were talking about how much they enjoyed the evening.
On December 14th HOPE Edmonton had the opportunity to deliver 7 Holiday Hampers that had been prepared by groups throughout the week. The hampers provided for families that consist of 2 to 9 people, whom are mostly children.
Each December the chapter teams up with JCI and their Holiday Hamper program to supply food and gift hampers to almost a 1000 families in the Edmonton area that would otherwise go without. After registering each hamper, JCI then provides a turkey, fresh vegetables and a roasting pan to be delivered along with the hamper. It is so encouraging to see so many people give of their time and resources to provide for others and bring a little Christmas cheer into the homes of the less fortunate. One of our volunteers shared this story. He had to make a couple of trips out to the car to bring items in. On his way back into the house, the little girls ran up to him with open arms for a hug. He told her, "You made my day, that is my first hug today" Then the mom gave him a hug. They were so grateful.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing and feeling the impact of giving to others. Both of these events have blessed us with the privilege of giving. Merry Christmas!