We are so thankful for all your donations and all our volunteers who showed up for EFWM’s 2020 Christmas Celebration. This year’s event was noticeably different, due to COVID-19, but we worked hard to come up with a strategy that allowed our staff, volunteers, and community to participate safely and still have a great time.
Our event took place across the entire property of the ministry, starting from the end of the soccer field. Families stayed inside their cars while driving up to various stations. The first station welcomed the families and distributed goody bags we prepared for the children. Each bag had snacks, juice boxes, and colorful band-aids that put a huge smile on kids’ faces.
The next station was deliciously sweet fresh coffee and hot chocolate prepared by our beloved community leaders. It paired perfectly with the savory tamales at the following station.
The fourth station was a jackpot! Children and parents stopped here to get a gift from Debie, one of our volunteers, a beautiful coffee cup full of snacks and hot chocolate bags. The children filled up on juice and cookies in the same station, and their parents enjoyed pastries like chocolate brownies, lemon cake, cherry pie, and coconut breads! They took home plates full of fresh fruits and extra bagged pastries.
The snacking did not stop, as Joan and Rich, our volunteers at the next station handed out bags of freshly popped popcorn.
Before driving beneath the outdoor sanctuary of the Ministry, parents and children encountered a real-life nativity scene played out by the children of our volunteers. The children were so excited to participate.
During the event, we asked drivers to tune in to a radio station channel created specifically for our event. They got to listen to Juan and Lariza play with happy children and announce competitions for the parents. Prizes varied from donated baskets of chocolates and Christmas goodies to blenders, indoor grills, and even a watch donated by one of our volunteers.
No Christmas is complete without Santa Claus and because of excellent planning by EFWM staff, Santa was able to make an appearance despite his rigorous December schedule. Santa was pumped! Children excitedly helped him escape the Grinch, an uninvited guest who would not stop meddling with the day’s events. Children desperately pleaded with him to stop stealing Christmas and enthusiastically alerted Santa to his whereabouts.
Santa was kind enough to bring his entourage of elves who helped EFWM staff distribute presents to 126 families and 426 children. Hiding beneath wrapping paper and placed carefully inside trunks were dolls, soccer balls, board games, bikes, and scooter courtesy of our beloved churches and individual donors! Parents also took home a special surprise with gifts they did not expect such as blankets and house gifts.
The most cherished gift of all came last in the form of a blessing from Father Eric Grubb from Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Clinton, NC. As Father Eric gave blessings to the families, Saint Nicholas himself wished our guests joy and prosperity as they drove away through a magical flurry of snow.
We are so thankful to have a community who cares about immigrants and farmworkers and who are willing to help spread the joy of Christmas. Merry Christmas and happy 2021!
You can find more photos of this event on our Facebook Page.