Paul’s Place Holiday Programs: A Gift of Hope for the Holidays and Beyond

December 1st, 2016

Last summer, Maya and her children grabbed the belongings they could carry and moved to a shelter to escape the violence at home. Once settled, she was referred to Paul’s Place for assistance finding more permanent housing. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, Maya was working as a home care nurse but could not afford a security deposit and the first month’s rent for her family to have a place of their own. Paul’s Place helped her find an affordable apartment and provided financial assistance with the first three months’ rent. They were settled in their new home just in time for Thanksgiving and received a turkey and the ingredients for a full feast from Paul’s Place.

After the holidays, Maya enrolled in our employment assistance program and has been working to become qualified for a better job in the health care field. She and her family signed up for a Thanksgiving basket again this year, enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal for Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to celebrating their second holiday season in their home.

Each year, hundreds of families like Maya’s benefit from our holiday programs: 150 families receive food for Thanksgiving, 250 families receive holiday food baskets, and 640 children receive gifts through our Holiday Gift Shop. The food baskets include a chicken or turkey, depending on the size of the family, and all the ingredients for side dishes so families can enjoy a full holiday meal at home. At the Holiday Gift Shop, parents can “shop” for gifts at no cost for their children, selecting from toys, games, sports equipment, clothing items and more to find gifts they know their kids will love. Our holiday programs help residents of Southwest Baltimore share the holiday spirit with their families.

Like Maya, many individuals who participate in the holiday program return to Paul’s Place in the new year for additional assistance to become more self-sufficient and resilient, including programs that for access to healthy food, case management, job- readiness and employment, education, and health and wellness. Nine in ten individuals who engage in on-going case management, often to address multiple challenges in their lives, report an increase in self-sufficiency.

Of our holiday giving is made possible by the dozens of generous individuals, businesses, schools, faith-based institutions, and other organizations who collect and donate food, gifts and toys – just in time to fill our holiday baskets and stock the shelves of our Holiday Gift Shop. Thank you to everyone who has already donated this holiday season!

It is not too late to give the gift of hope and joy this holiday season (and year-round). Bring new, unwrapped gifts (price tags removed, please) to Paul’s Place by December 13 for our Holiday Gift Shop. Items for teens (ages 13- 17) are especially appreciated. See our Holiday Gift Shop flyer for gift suggestions. You can also order items on Amazon.com and have them shipped to Paul’s Place; check out our wish lists for Home Starter Kits, showers and laundry service, Kids in the Kitchen, and the Market Place.