Christmas is such a special time of year at Epworth! The children in the cottages awaken on Christmas morning to the joyous scene of a beautifully decorated tree, surrounded by heaps of perfectly wrapped gifts nestled underneath. It is what every child dreams of and anticipates for weeks leading up to the holiday, but for some of the children at Epworth, this will be the first time they experience a traditional Christmas morning along with the tree and gifts surrounding it. Here at Epworth, we make it our mission to ensure Christmas is special for every child.
The planning and preparation begins all the way back in September, when we sit down with each child and ask what is on their wish list. From there, the wishes are printed onto cards and matched with donors who shop for the specific items for the children. During specific days in December, the items are dropped off on campus at “Santa’s Workshop,” where each gift is expertly wrapped and tagged for the child for whom it has been chosen. The support and efforts from the donors and our community to provide for the children on Christmas morning is absolutely breathtaking!
For some of the children at Epworth, emotions at Christmastime can run high. This may be the first holiday they have spent apart from their family, or they may have memories of a previous year’s disappointment that occurred on Christmas morning. Each of the staff in the cottages, who themselves are working on Christmas, go above and beyond to make the day special and look out for opportunities to make extra phone calls or additional letters to family possible.
While we are always looking for ways to make Christmas special, Christmas is just one day a year. The ultimate gift is that our community is ensuring that these children also have everything they need for the other 364 days of the year. In-kind donations such as body wash, alarm clocks or new outdoor furniture provide items that both support the children in necessary ways as well as limit the expenditures needed in the Epworth budget. Monetary donations, no matter how large or small, provide those things that make caring for the children on Epworth’s campus possible.
Through the support of our donors, we are able to provide things like tutoring for a middle school boy who is struggling in math. It has provided exercise classes for one of our cottages of high school girls, who have taken on a new “healthy living” approach. It provides a skating trip for the boys and girls cottages when school is out for winter break. Without your support, we would not be able to provide some of these little things that make childhood special.
Christmas is a joyous and special time of the year, but during this Season of Giving, we at Epworth give thanks for the many people near and far who give generously to provide for the children all year long. It is because of your generosity that there is not just one, but 365, joyful mornings at Epworth every year.