Regardless of our different backgrounds, experiences, and how we choose to celebrate traditions, it’s that magical time of year when we gather with friends and loved ones to share our joy and gratitude. Yet, for many of us, the excitement and chaos of the season make it easy to forget what the holidays are really all about.
As the hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts and making grocery lists start to take over, remember that 67 women and children stayed at the YWCA Emergency Shelter last night. Reflect on what you have – a place to call home, presents to put under the tree, friends to gather with, and food to put on the table for holiday celebrations.
Remember Jessica – the woman who escaped an abusive partner and homelessness to build a better future for her children. With help from the YWCA, today Jessica is celebrating the holidays with her children in her own home. She continues to focus on building a strong future for her family by working full time and is pursuing a CNA certificate, what she considers the first step towards achieving her dream of having a career in the medical field. Jessica is most proud of setting a good example for her kids by going back to school to get a better job. She says, “I want my kids to know you don’t have to end up in a dead-end job. If their mom can do it, they can too.” Jessica believes the YWCA gave her the gift of hope along with support and tools that led her to independence.
Jessica’s story inspires many and serves as a reminder that beyond all of the to-do lists and festive gatherings, the holidays are about compassion and giving.
How will you celebrate the season?