As the weather turns cooler, our thoughts turn to Christmas. Along with our sponsor a family program, we are offering new ways you can share the season with our most vulnerable neighbors, and we hope you will considering helping or passing the word on to others.
Make lasting Christmas memories
Elizabeth Eldredge, Greenwood Lodge resident Jimmy, and Lydia McClannahan look forward to the Christmas party each year.
The Greenwood Lodge Christmas party has all the traditional trimmings: ham, turkey, gifts and carols.
But the impact goes far beyond a good meal and new clothes.
For the past 10 years, a Sunday school class at First Methodist Church of Shreveport has provided a party and gifts to the 11 residents, who have various developmental disabilities.
"The residents have become part of our families," said Nonie Caruthers, who has been part of the festivities since the beginning. "It's such a blessing to have a relationship with them."
This year we hope to have parties at all of our residential facilities sponsored by community groups. Our homes serve everyone from adults with disabilities to homeless veterans and range in size from 6 to 56 residents. All are in need of Christmas joy.
Before the First Methodist class started at Greenwood Lodge, they had often sponsored a family, but they realized they could help more than just one family. Greenwood Lodge serves 11 individuals, and like many of our residents, most do not have families of their own.
Caruthers said their children were most apprehensive the first year, not knowing what to say or how to act.
"They learned the disabled are precious human beings who like to laugh and play just like anyone," she said.
Now it has become a family tradition for most members of the class.
Hosting a party doesn't require any special skills except a willingness to share Christmas with someone in need. Parties can be as elaborate as your group can handle. You and the residents will have memories for a lifetime.
Start checking your list
Caring Gifts letters will be arriving in your mailbox soon!
Thanks to some faithful volunteers, the ornaments are wrapped and ready. This year's Angel of Wishes is the perfect way to send holiday cheer to family, friends and associates.
As in years past, you will be able to send in your list by mail, e-mail, or through our website.
Happy birthday Sondra!
|Sondra thought she was coming to a board meeting.|
Many of you know LightHouse
office coordinator Sondra Dixon from her service at Christmas, matching families to donors.
On Oct. 19, staff, donors and volunteers gathered for a very special surprise 80th birthday party. We also celebrated her 20 years of service to the LightHouse.
"Oh my Lord - how did you do this?" she said as she walked into the room of friends, co-workers and family - including her daughter, in town from Houston.
CEO Chuck Meehan presented her with her 20-year pin and asked for her forgiveness for the numerous stories that were told to get her to the main office for the event.
"She is a mentor, friend and role model," Meehan said. "We love you, Sondra."