Since 1994, St. Thomas’ parishioners have been sharing the spirit of the Christmas season with homeless mothers and children from the Episcopal Community Services (ECS) FAST Housing program at our annual Be an Angel Christmas Party. The FAST Housing program enables chronically homeless mothers to receive and maintain permanent housing, as well as intensive case management involving life and parenting skills in order to overcome the challenges of homelessness.
More than 200 parishioners participate by selecting tags from our giving tree, purchasing gifts and/or volunteering to help with the party, typically held on the second Sunday in December. The party features crafts for children; a bountiful family style turkey dinner; family photos with Santa; and festive musical entertainment. Volunteer opportunities for all ages include: donating a cooked turkey; working in the kitchen; hosting/serving guests; trimming a tree/decorating; setting tables; assisting with children’s crafts; and post-event clean-up. It’s a wonderful event in which the whole family can participate! If you are interested learning more about the party or in volunteering, please contact co-chairs, Lisa Pacheco (firstname.lastname@example.org or 215‐593‐7255) or Amy Hirsch (email@example.com or 215-542-0835).
In their own words (Lisa Pacheco, Co-chair, Be an Angel Party):
“We cherish the experience. The smiling Spider Man face painted by a laughing Pam Jameson; the baby rocking in Cynthia Cheston’s arms; Jim Chabot’s hearty laughter as we line up to serve the dinner his crew has cooked; singing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ before our presents are given. Other than worship, I can’t think of another experience at St. Thomas’ in which so many parishioners…across all ages…in some cases entire families…participate in such a meaningful way.”