Celebrations at the Health Outreach Bus
Our Health Outreach Bus will bring festivities to the seven neighborhoods it serves over the next week. In addition to enjoying a meal, hot chocolate, and cookies, guests will receive stockings---handmade and filled by kindhearted donors---containing much-needed personal items like thermal socks, hand warmers, and hygiene supplies. Children will also receive wrapped presents such as toys and clothing. In the meantime, members of the Street Medicine Team will present the clients they serve in encampments across Chicago with gift stockings.
Kris Citron, a volunteer for The Night Ministry who will be participating in Health Outreach Bus festivities, says the experience enriches everyone involved. "The wide eyes of children in anticipation and the sincerest of appreciation from the adults always brings me back to how the simple act of caring is a gift that cannot be compared," she said.
Festivities at Our Youth Programs
"The holidays can be a very tough time for many of the young people we serve," said Devin Redmond, Residential Services and Training Coordinator at The Night Ministry. "That is why it is especially important and beneficial to have celebrations like our Annual Youth Holiday Dinner and Party, where staff, volunteers, donors, and members of The Night Ministry's Associate Board come together to serve a restaurant-style meal for residents from all Youth Programs as part of an evening of fun, games, music, and gifts."
Young people who visit our Youth Outreach Van on the streets of the Lakeview neighborhood will also be treated to a holiday party hosted by Anshe Emet Synagogue, complete with seasonal decorations, a special meal, and gifts. Meanwhile, The Crib, our emergency overnight shelter for young adults, will be open all day and night on Christmas. Guests will partake in festive activities while enjoying breakfast, lunch, and a chef-prepared holiday dinner.
"Most importantly," said Redmond, "the holidays are a time to surround our resilient youth with warmth and love, and to remind them they are valued and cared for."