For many of the kids residing at one of LSS’s four children’s centers, the Christmas holidays are painful reminders of childhoods broken or lost. So the staff at the centers, under the direction of the DOVs (Director of Volunteers) go out of their way to make it a happy and memorable time.
Here’s a little bit about how each center is celebrating, plus some of the vocal stylings of some of our musically talented residents. Click on a title to listen. May you be amazed!
Bokenkamp Children’s Shelter, Corpus Christi
Christmas at Bokenkamp has to be kept simple, because the children, who are all from out of the country, just can’t take a lot of gifts out of the shelter when they leave. They can only take one bag, so their gifts revolve around necessary supplies: soaps, socks, and clothes. While this might not be as much fun for the shoppers, the impact is huge. Every bottle of shampoo is a welcome gift when they reunite with their families.
For Christmas, the Advisory Board hosted an “international” Christmas party, where each country represented at Bokenkamp had a table with regional dishes, including egg nog for America! Then everyone – kids and staff – shared their own unique memories about their families at Christmas. It was a very emotional but special time.
Krause Children’s Center, Katy
The season commenced with a gift wrapping party on December 17th, when 75 volunteer elves came to wrap the Krause kids’ gifts. Buried in tape, scissors, wrapping paper, and Christmas music, the volunteers wrapped over 1,000 gifts! In appreciation, the Krause kids gave volunteers gift packs with a card, candy treat, and a gift compliments of Starbucks.
As the gift wrappers wrapped away, the kids had their Christmas party in the gym, and were serenaded by two visiting musical groups. The Krause lobby showcased two beautiful trees―one contemporary and one traditional―and the center was transformed by volunteers into a Christmas wonderland.
New Life Children’s Center, Canyon Lake
Christmas arrived early at New Life on December 4th with a Volunteer/Chicktime Party. As everyone sang worship songs and Christmas carols, Santa gave out presents amid a huge spread of Christmas goodies.
The New Life girls shared their gifts and talents with the Canyon Lake community by knitting and crocheting hats for the “Church under the Bridge” ministry in San Antonio, and infant hats for the Crisis Pregnancy Center.
On Christmas Eve, Santa’s stealthy elves will empty bags of gifts under the New Life Christmas trees – all purchased for the girls by many different churches and New Life’s faithful supporters in and around the Canyon Lake community. The girls will wake up on Christmas morning to find their presents under the trees. Magical!
Nelson Children’s Center, Denton
There has been a flurry of holiday volunteer activity at the Nelson Center, and the kids are the cheerful recipients of: Toy drives by several elementary schools and 25 area churches; beautiful Christmas decorations by the North Texas Chinese Student Association and the Valley Creek Church; and pictures with Santa. Add to that a concert by the Krum High School Band, McDonald’s donation of Happy Meals for the school Christmas party, and the 8th Annual Christmas party thrown by the Denton-Wise County Assoc. of Realtors.
One impressive holiday event was the arrival of about 60 Peace Riders with BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse), who rode their motorcycles up I-35 to deliver 250 gifts and a $1,000 cash donation to the Nelson Center. BACA rallies to create a safer environment to empower abused children. Full speed ahead for a great cause!