Special to The Dallas Examiner
Children of prisoners are silent victims, but this Christmas St. Paul United Methodist Church brought a voice to about 100 children for its first ever Ultimate Christmas Party on Wednesday. The outreach program of St. Paul and the partnership with Prison Ministry Fellowship identified children in surrounding Downtown Dallas ZIP codes whose parents are incarcerated and shared the desire of their incarcerated parent for their children to have gifts for Christmas. The gift requests were distributed to church members, friends and co-workers and hundreds of wrapped gifts poured into the church over the past three weeks and tonight is the ultimate event – giving gifts that are wrapped with personal notes from their incarcerated parent to the children.
“To be able to support the parents who are parenting through incarceration for what should be a joyous season is very rewarding for us,” St. Paul Lead Pastor Richie Butler said. “So often in our society, we throw away compassion with the inmate and ignore the families. Tonight is a way for us to not just engage this evening, but to become a supportive place for parents and guardians who have stepped up to care for these children in the absence of a parent.”
In an effort to help homeless children have a merry Christmas, Dallas County Health and Human Services and Iota Mu Sigma Chapter once again partnered with Vogel Alcove to provide gifts to homeless children. The Iota Mu Sigma Chapter and Sigma Beta Club members collected toys from their members to donate to Vogel Alcove.
For almost 25 years, Vogel Alcove has provided free, quality child development services for Dallas’ youngest victims of poverty – homeless children 6 weeks to 5 years old. Vogel Alcove is the only free comprehensive early childhood education program in the city of Dallas whose primary focus is to provide free childcare and case management for children and their families residing at 18 local emergency and domestic violence shelters and housing programs.
On Saturday, thousands of Southern Dallas families will gather at Fair Park for the 17th Annual Christmas in the Park. Some will come for basic necessities like clothes and food while others will come to find a toy or bike to help make a child’s Christmas wish come true. There is also a Coats for Kids section where brand new winter coats will be handed out. Run by the S.M. Wright Foundation, a non-profit organization providing support and stability to inner-city underprivileged children and less fortunate families in the South Dallas/Fair Park community, Christmas in the Park has grown from serving less than 200 underprivileged kids in 1998 to over 40,000 residents last year. An estimated 40,000 Southern Dallas residents will participate in this year’s event.
Dallas City Councilmember Adam McGough (District 10) greeted mothers and their children on Wednesday with holiday treats as they celebrated the commencement of their first semester of ESL and parenting classes. “This holiday season we decided to honor the mothers who struggle to provide for their children but go the extra mile to ensure a brighter future for their families,” McGough said.
Mrs. Caren Bright, founder of Pamper Lake Highlands, began the organization with an original thought to collect and distribute diapers to parents who could not afford them. Since January, Pamper Lake Highlands has collected 75,000 diapers. After its inception, the organization has grown to not only provide families with diapers, but has become a place where mothers can grow intellectually and spiritually. Along with great partners like Methodist Children’s Home and Literacy Instruction for Texas, Pamper Lake Highlands is able to provide ESL classes to mothers in the community so they can better communicate with their children and express themselves as necessary. In addition, Methodist Children’s Home helps educate families on how to communicate in nurturing and positive ways. Not only does Pamper Lake Highlands feed their minds, but they also feed their souls with the help of Loving All Peoples and their spiritual development program. “Although many do not know about this organization, they have had such a huge impact in our community and our hope is that it will grow to be able to provide more resources to families in need,” McGough stated.
Over 30 mothers have received their certificate of completion for their first semester in ESL and parenting classes. “This is a great organization and I am glad that our councilmember has recognized the efforts of this organization to touch the lives of so many women in our community,” said Kathy Stewart, director of the Lake Highlands Public Improvement District.
The Prince Hall Masonic Family of Texas will once again come together this holiday season to assist in giving joy to children and families of Fort Worth by hosting its Seventh Annual Christmas Giveaway. The event will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge.
“We want to build upon this great service to our community and make it better,” said Grand Master Wilbert M. Curtis. “Our goal is to bring happiness to the children of the Fort Worth area while promoting the charitable work and spirit of the Prince Hall Masonic Family of Texas.”
The Prince Hall Masonic Family, which consists of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Grand High Court Heroines of Jericho, Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter, Lone Star Grand Guild, Order of the Golden Circle, Grand Chapter of Holy Royal Arch Masons, Knights Templar Masons and Scottish Rite Masons, collected thousands of gifts through toy drives held throughout the state. These new unwrapped toys and gift cards will benefit children ages 16 and under in the Fort Worth community who may not otherwise experience the joy of a gift this Christmas.
From 2009 – 2014, the Prince Hall Masonic Family with the support of the Prince Hall Charitable Foundation of Texas distributed more than 8,000 gifts to children of Tarrant County.
Gifts will be donated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information, contact Public Relations Chairman Robert B Calloway Jr. at 972-223-0270. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Burrell Parmer at 210-863-1118, email email@example.com or visit http://www.mwphglotx.org.