The annual holiday party is a steadfast tradition for many organizations, but A Helping Hand does things a little different. For us it would be difficult to bring our staff, caregivers, and volunteers together for a celebration, while knowing that those we have served all year long might be alone this season. The holidays can be an emotionally difficult time for isolated seniors, and for many a far cry from the joy filled ideal that the season is supposed to represent.
We set out each year to include as many of our clients as we can. This isn’t without challenges. As a modest size, local non-profit, we are never working with a big budget. Every year we ask for donations from our community to help us pull this off. The support we receive is heartwarming, and without it, we wouldn’t be able to accommodate all those that we do.
In the run-up to the party we make sure that we can provide transportation to all our low-income seniors that need it. This means mobilizing our interns and volunteers on the day of the party to pickup seniors from all over Durham-Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, there are always some that can’t make it, but we want to send them some love too! There are many seniors we serve that are food insecure, and we know they value a good hot meal. At the end of the event, we pack up to-go boxes and send volunteers out to deliver meals to many of those who couldn’t attend.
This year our holiday party was held at the New Hope Camp and Conference Center of Chapel Hill. It was our first time there, it was a great venue, wooded and cozy. It was fantastic to see new and old faces, paid staff, volunteers, interns, clients from both our paid programs and charitable, along with some of their families! The food was a hit, so much so we had to send out a couple of emergency requests to pick up some extra fixings!
For the staff at A Helping Hand this party has become more than just a routine celebration. It’s also about sewing connections across our community, and letting people know that they are cared about, thought about, and valued. This event is a small piece of making our organization’s core mission happen, and we are thankful to see this tradition grow into the festive occasion that it has become!
Thank you to all of this year’s donors!