ALAMOSA — At La Puente they believe as President Coolidge “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
Thanks to a very generous community La Puente has spent the past weeks spreading Christmas cheer to those who need it most.
Events kicked off at La Puente’s Outreach Christmas Party on Saturday the 16th. This annual tradition saw hundreds gather at the shelter, which was transformed into a Christmas wonderland. Guests were met with new mittens, gloves, scarves, and hats. Once prepared for the cold, they gathered with volunteers to sing carols, eat cookies, and drink cocoa as the families waited to see Santa. Each was able to meet Santa and receive a gift. Over 600 Christmas gifts donated by community members found their ways into the hands of those in need and over 500 individuals chose to stay and enjoy a holiday meal.
As impressive as the outcome, what is truly impressive is all the kindness, love, and generosity that went into making the event possible. Hats and scarves are knitted and sent from as far as Texas. Gifts arrive from all around Colorado with the vast majority originating right here in the Valley. Volunteers gathered days before to cook and decorate the over 700 cookies enjoyed by guests. The event is truly only possible because of this generous community.
In addition to this effort, La Puente’s Rural Outreach Imitative was able to bring Christmas to 14 families living in the underdeveloped lands on the western edge of the Valley. These families often struggle to meet the bare necessities so to receive an abundant Christmas with gifts, blankets, food, and more was truly a blessing.
The following Monday, La Puente’s Food Bank Network began the process of giving out over 300 Christmas hams across the food bank network to ensure those struggling with hunger will also be able to share with their families this Christmas.
La Puente’s Adelante Family Services and PALS Children’s Program partnered with SLV Health to bring Christmas to the families they serve. Case managers interviewed families and gathered information on what their families were in need of and what their children are “hoping” to receive this year. Some responses were, socks, underwear, snow boots, a Christmas tree, and to have “Happy and Healthy Holidays.” Adelante’s newly expanded program was grateful to have 12 families including 32 adults and 21 children “adopted.” PALS worked with their 20 families to ensure their 28 children received a joyous Christmas.
La Puente is so grateful and proud to live in a community whose support makes incredible things possible. May the magic and the wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the coming year.
Caption: With elves ready to assist him, Santa arrives at La Puente to provide gifts during the shelter’s annual Christmas party./Courtesy photo