For far too many children, the winter holidays often become a painful reminder of what they don’t have: Not enough clothes, not enough food and, definitely, no presents.
This December, Hope through Housing and its community partners, stepped up to change that dynamic for more than 900 children during unforgettable events.
First, 200 students from a dozen nonprofit organizations, including National CORE residents – enjoyed an incredible day of holiday activities capped with a shopping spree on Dec. 9 at the 16th annual Colonies Holiday Miracles, sponsored by the Colonies Holiday Partners, in Upland.
Hope through Housing staff members helped stage the event, which included holiday grocery gift cards for the children’s families, craft activities and a visit from Santa Claus.
Then, on Dec. 15, Hope through Housing hosted a Spark of Love toy distribution for 700 children at National CORE’s Olive Meadow affordable housing community in San Bernardino. The day was packed with toy giveaways, delicious barbecue, fun-filled activities and a visit from Santa Claus.
The event was made possible through partnerships by the Hope through Housing Foundation, ABC 7, Amazon, the San Bernardino County Fire Department and the Children’s Fund.
“Spark of Love is a blessing. I think it’s a good experience for all the kids involved and it has a major impact on them,” attendee Anette McElrath said. “Some people are not so fortunate and have unstable lives, but events like this are amazing. It’s incredible that so many people could come together to put on something so great for the kids. It keeps their hope alive.”
McElrath attended Spark of Love with her grandchildren, who had fun playing on the bounce house obstacle course and meeting Santa.
Crestview Terrace residents Adam, 16, and Jasmine, 16, said they loved how the event catered to not only children, but young adults as well. They also enjoyed seeing the happy families enjoying themselves and everyone getting into the holiday spirit.
“Hope through Housing is so proud to be a partner with Spark of Love and to put so many smiles on kids’ faces,” Hope through Housing President Greg Bradbard said. “Our intent is that events like this spark hope for a lifetime as kids see that their community cares about them and believes in their future.”