SAFE Holidays was a massive success!Written by Suzy Day
As early as last July, friends of SAFE began connecting to begin organizing efforts to spread cheer during the 2017 holiday season. It took a village, but throughout the entire season over 1,500 clients received gifts, holiday decor, and other goodies, in addition to quality care, counseling, and housing.
Last year marked the first season since Austin’s Children Shelter and SafePlace merged to form SAFE, and we depended on generous friends, like you, to create an epic level of magic.
Y’all came through tenfold!
Through our SAFE Holidays program, SAFE advocates and counselors worked countless hours to sit with clients and collect their wishes and submit to the Holiday team.
We sent out over 450 wish lists to our community, and every wish list was sponsored. And, once again, we relied on you to help us get thousands of gifts organized, wrapped, and loaded into client cars to head home. Over 270 volunteers logged in during the December to achieve our goals during this record breaking year!
But it wasn’t just gifts for Holiday wish lists that made this season special. Early in December, Christmas Tree Santas set up a Christmas tree lot on site, complete with tree stands and decorations. Their team passed out 60 trees to clients.
Clients sipped on cocoa as volunteers loaded their cars with trees and all the trimmings needed to light up their homes. And as temperatures dropped, The Whole Foods Global Merchandising Team collected sizes of every youth living at SAFE’s Children’s Shelter at Rathgeber Village. They picked out new coats and shoes to start the winter season off right.
Later in the season, dedicated volunteer Jena Hammond and friends created custom stuffed stockings for every youth. Staff hung these with care for a special, personalized surprise on Dec. 25.
At our Grove Boulevard campus, Crema Bakery delivered baked goodies for clients and staff at the Family Shelter. Spruce Dickerson and team, of The Giving Purse, stuffed a handbag with self-care necessities for every client in SAFE’s Family Shelter for yet another special gift.
A special thank you
These are just a few examples of projects that you, our Austin community, created to make SAFE clients feel uplifted and empowered this holiday season. So many more friends came by to drop off sweets, gifts, basic needs, and food for our pantries.
Whether you supported SAFE Holidays on your own, with your family and friends, or through your workplace or organization, we see you, and are so grateful.
As clients picked up gifts to take home or a snacked on a hand decorated cookie or loaded up their tree, they asked that we send their “Thank you!” on to you, the magic makers.
We can’t wait to stay connected throughout 2018. From all of us at SAFE, thank you!