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|Volunteers bring Christmas joy to homeless youth|
|by Tristan Skye|
|December 28, 2010 12:32|
The best part of Christmas for some may be receiving gifts, eating until we burst through our britches and watching “The Christmas Story” play on repeat while sipping eggnog.
As fun as that all is, sometimes people lose the true meaning of Christmas. When one looks past all of the hustle and bustle, the magic of Christmas is revealed in the spirit of GIVING.
That is what 20 volunteers chose to do at Radial Café on Christmas Day. They gave up their time with family and helped serve a feast complete with goodies to the homeless youth of CHRIS Kids, a non-profit organization that serves as leaders for the community assisting in areas of child welfare, mental health and prevention of youth homelessness.
The leftovers were then distributed to over 50 homeless living on the streets of Atlanta by the volunteers after the initial event was complete, helping bring joy to those who have little hope.
“This time of year is very difficult for many of our kids,” said Beth Keller, Director of Development for CHRIS Kids, in a press release about the event.
“They have been torn from their families because of abuse and neglect. Some have been kicked out of their families for being gay and some run away because of abuse. Many have lived on the streets for periods of time. Most do not understand why they have the behavioral and emotional challenges they do. Some have never experienced receiving gifts, eating together as a family or having Holiday traditions. They get very upset during the Holidays. It is an emotionally charged time of year for most – especially these children and youth. They see their friends and hear about family gatherings and friends spending time together – and they feel lonely, rejected and unwanted. We like to make the Holidays as special and “normal” as possible so that these kids know they are LOVED, SUPPORTED and no matter what their family situation... we will always be their CHRIS Kids Family. It is imperative that we provide normalcy and uplift, empower and treat them as we would typical kids/youth during the Holidays. The community serves as the surrogate family for these kids.”
Most people think about doing a good deed on the holiday and these volunteers chose to put actions behind their words. They did their part to help restore the true meaning of Christmas.
For more information on CHRIS Kids, Beth Keller can be reached at [email protected].
Radial Café is located at 1530 Dekalb Avenue, Atlanta and has been serving award-winning breakfast and lunch since 1999. www.radial.us.
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