Christmas at Mission Services is a special time of year. You can feel the excitement in the air as our programs bring people together for special events and celebrations. Our staff understand the importance of love, acceptance, and community during the holidays, as many in our city long for that feeling during the cold winter months.
Kicking off the season, Mission Services was thrilled to participate in Hamilton’s celebration of the season at the annual Santa Claus parade. This year, the Grey Cup Festival celebration added an extra exciting time of community and fun. Your donated food and funds will help us make Christmas extra special for our neighbours!
Our Good Food Centre staff understands that winter weather and holiday closures may impact our clients’ ability to get food, so for the month of December, they are doing their part by increasing the amount of food that is included in their hampers. Clients with appointments will be able to receive their enhanced hampers right up until December 22, the last Friday before Christmas.
At Inasmuch House, the staff has planned family activities so both kids and parents can share the warmth of the season. Families will make cards together, decorate cookies and gingerbread houses, and create several seasonal crafts. Gifts are also prepared for the residents, and Santa brings toys and presents for the kids with help from the generosity of some Hamilton elves!
In early November, staff and residents of Inasmuch House also celebrated Diwali, with various craft activities to create decorations for the Festival of Lights.
With many cultural and religious holidays in the month of December, The 196 program will give the youth an opportunity to choose a different cultural holiday meal to prepare each week, allowing them to experience new tastes and traditions of the holiday season.
“Some people celebrate different holidays than Christmas, and we want to give them the opportunity to share that with others,” said Adalia, coordinator of The 196 program.
The 196 youth are also hosting a traditional Christmas dinner and each member can invite their family members to join them in celebration and to learn about the program.
Willow’s Place will be holding its annual Christmas dinner in the days leading up to the holiday, and each participant will receive a small gift. For the clients at Emma’s Place, there will be a gift waiting for them when they wake up on Christmas morning.
Our Men’s Shelter will be celebrating their first Christmas at the new King St. location, and will be distributing winter hats and clothing to our clients to ensure that they can stay warm during the cold winter months. They will also hold a special Christmas dinner for our clients with traditional Christmas fixings, providing peace and comfort amidst difficult times.
Addiction Services will be offering special Holiday Support Groups to their clients during the week between Christmas and New Years, a time that many may find especially difficult.
“For those living with addiction, the holidays can be a time filled with challenges to navigate,” said Greg, Assistant Director of Addiction Services.
“Having family and friends, professional organizations, and peer support available is highly recommended all year round, but it can be especially helpful during the holiday season.”
At Mission Services we are thankful for the generosity of our community to be able to support our neighbours in need. Please consider contributing to ensure they can enjoy a warm and wonderful Christmas this year.