Big Brothers Big Sisters share Christmas party together

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Enthusiasm wasnt dampened by the cold rain, for there was a huge turnout for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Christmas party. The annual event is held for Little Brothers and Little Sisters along with their volunteer Bigs to celebrate the season through these enriching relationships. BBBS Council Members rounded out the guest list.

Big Couple Lynne Parsons and Ernie Giannini hosted the event at a misty Morning Glory Farm.

Despite the soggy weather, many Littles and Bigs could not resist venturing outdoors to explore the grounds.

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Indoors an inviting fire warmed Littles huddled around the hearth. A table was overflowing with refreshments, including homemade Santa cupcakes, while warm spiced apple cider chased away the chill. Littles and Bigs put their creative talents together to make sparkling stars to take home to adorn Christmas trees.

The Upstairs Artspace collected donated toys that were distributed to all the Littles attending, from youngest to oldest, ages 6 to 16. The holiday party was sponsored in part by a grant from WalMart of Forest City.

In addition, the Polk County Community Foundation provided a timely Seasonal Assistance Grant, thanks to the efforts of Patty Slater, chair of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Council, and leader of the food assistance project.

These grant funds provided groceries for the families of all of the children enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. Farm Bureau in Columbus provided reusable bags to hold the goods.

Food was purchased at local grocery stores and distributed to families of Littles in the community-based program, while the families of children enrolled in the school-based program received grocery gift cards discounted by Bi-Lo of Columbus. Bi-Lo also contributed discount coupons for each gift card.

Although many of the families served by BBBS are feeling the pinch of the economic stress and say they are grateful for the extra food to help them through the holidays, at least one family felt inclined to pass on their donated food to a less fortunate family, paying the favor forward in the spirit of the season. Many lives have been touched through this initiative of the Polk County Community Foundation.

Says BBBS Program Coordinator Karen Dacey, Big Brothers Big Sisters is very grateful to all who contributed to make this Christmas special for so many. The volunteer Bigs, who step up on a regular basis to mentor and provide experiences for their Little Brothers and Little Sisters, ensure the strength of the BBBS programs. And donors provide the financial support to make it all possible. The generosity of this community continues to lift us up and inspire us. It often does indeed take a village.