Help the YWCA Bring Holiday Cheer to Homeless Families

December 10, 2013

At the YWCA we believe that every child deserves a safe place to learn and grow, which is why we have a nationally accredited child care center. We believe that every child deserves a birthday party, that's why we make sure every child we serve blows out candles on their birthday. And we believe that children deserve a happy holiday season, filled with the magic and wonder of giving and receiving. That's why we have Santa’s Workshop. This year’s annual event will be Saturday, December 14, 2013.

Santa’s Workshop brings the magic of the holidays to homeless families by offering parents the opportunity to “shop” for free gifts for their children while children create festive holiday crafts for their loved ones. With the help of more than 200 volunteers and enough books, baby dolls, trucks and other toy donations we make the season a little brighter for homeless families in the Birmingham area on this special day. 

As you begin (or finish up!) your holiday shopping, we hope that you will think about donating a very special gift to a homeless child in your community. Don’t know what to get? No problem! The YWCA Central Alabama has wish lists of toys and items that are always a big hit. They are available on Amazon.com and Target.com. If you purchase from these wish lists, the items will be sent directly to the YWCA. You can brighten someone’s holiday with just a few clicks!

Having a wide array of donated toys and goods makes for a more magical time at Santa’s Workshop; allowing the moms to “shop” for the gifts makes the holiday more personal. They are able to choose something their children really need and want. The philosophy behind Santa’s Workshop allows mothers to choose gifts, empowering them and allowing them to contribute to their children’s happiness and quality of life, free from financial concerns and limitations. Santa’s Workshop “shopping” is both a fun and empowering event that allows mothers to experience the joys that come from their children having a happy holiday.

At Santa’s Workshop, children also get to learn the value of giving by creating crafts they can give to teachers, friends and family members. Children will create blue jean purses, make snow globes out of jars and build toys and trinkets with the help of Home Depot employees. They will also make some edible goodies in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. The children will even be able to have their picture taken with Santa!  

Volunteers from Belk will come with decorations to turn our entire gymnasium into the North Pole filling it with snowmen, giant candy canes, lights, reindeer, sleds and more. The experience for the children becomes a truly magical one. With such an event and the gifts they receive, they are reminded how special they are. We strive to make Santa’s Workshop a time of joy and love for both parents and children.

Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Jane Gibson says, “Santa’s Workshop brings holiday spirit to many who could otherwise not afford it. Donated toys really allow these families’ holidays to be about loving and giving, rather than another financial obstacle to overcome.”

Donations are the foundation of what makes Santa’s Workshop come alive. With your help, we can make memories that last forever for the homeless families of our community. Art supplies, infant toys, remote control cars, dolls, portable CD players and CDs, sports gear, board games, jewelry and accessories, puzzles and books are just some of the small things that will make a big difference. You can drop off unwrapped (nonviolent) toys at the YWCA located at 309 23rd Street North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203.

As you begin to gather with family, exchange hugs and presents and ensure that the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews in your lives have a merry and bright holiday, we hope you will join us in ensuring that those who have the least in life get an opportunity to experience the universal thankfulness that we all feel for one another during this very special time of year.

To learn more about or to give to Santa’s Workshop, please click here to find out how.