Young Athletes Bring Holiday Cheer to Newbridge Family Shelter
Houston-originated Non-Profit organization YASS (Youth Achieving through Service and Sports, Inc.) has begun planting positive seeds in our small community this holiday season, contributing to Newbridge Family Shelter's Christmas this year.
Founder and Executive Director, Coach Sanford Mouton, knew very early into his arrival in San Angelo that Newbridge Shelter would be an immediate service project for his organization. He not only has plans for this shelter: during his "San Angelo Serves" Project on National Service day Jan. 20, but saw the critical need with fast approaching holidays. Invisiting this shelter he recognized·an immediate opportunity to not only provide material relief, but renewed hope to these families as well.
With that initial idea and prompt action, YASS was able to provide Newbridge with the "Merry Little Christmas Party" that took place over a several day span.
The event began on Dec. 8 with a team of "Santa's Stylists" brought in to provide professional haircuts to the individuals who reside at Newbridge. Stylists (TJ and Stephanie) from Transformations Emporium, Carmen Lira from the Rage Salon &. Boutique and Haylie Sadie Hays and Courtney Givens from the Texas College of Cosmetology generously gave of their time and services to ensure these mothers and at-risk youth looked and felt amazing this Christmas.
One mother stated, "I really needed this. This is giving me a start to looking pretty again and feeling good about myself'.
The children all complimented each other on their fresh, new looks and Mothers cried tears of joy as they watched life being brought back into their lives and surroundings with something as simple as haircuts. To many, that might seem like a part of normal life but to those in need, it means a chance to see normal once again.
The following evening of Dec. 9, Autumn Barnes of the Angelo State University Library spent the evening with the families doing crafts, eating treats and providing story time that ended with a visit from no other than Santa Claus himself. This was an evening of creating precious Christmas memories that all children should be gifted with, even in times of trial.
Laughter and joy decked the' halls this night with the magic of Christmas filling the air. One child felt that the group should send Santa and his Mrs. back to the North Pole with a song. As they left, Jingle Bells was sung and happiness surrounded them as they departed.
One little girl leaned over her chair to watch them as they left and it was caught in a priceless moment through picture as the glistening lights of the tree sparkled next to her and it was evident that she knew that in this night, it was Christmas.
The event ended on Dec. 13 with students from the Professional Development Club of the CSRF Program teamed with Home Depot and Toys for Tots completing the Christmas experience with gracious gifts.
The ASU Graduate students delivered board games, sports balls and a laptop to the needy families, while Home Depot delivered a lawnmower to maintain their landscape and playground. The sponsors and individuals gave of their resources and time to ensure these children felt and saw a community who not only wanted to give them a Merry Christmas but is committed to them and their futures as well.
"It is not just in what we do, but what we show a child through action that will set those stones on the path of their futures," said Barnes. These many individuals worked in unison with the same goal in this event to show these families what can be done with effective planning, team effort and the desire to help others succeed.
Many thanks go to all of those who gave of themselves to make this event a success including those employed at the shelter providing daily for these families. "Every human activity can be put at the service of the divine and of love. We should all exercise our gift to build community." Jean Vanier, of Community and Growth said.
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