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Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy of Metrocrest Services

While Santa may reside at the North Pole, the epicenter of holiday magic was brightest at Metrocrest Services, where the community shared donations, time and care with those in need. Through the Metrocrest Services Holiday Program, 1,031 families who might not have otherwise had a reason to celebrate felt remembered and valued this past holiday season.

“It is remarkable what we can do together,” said Caitlin Hardegree, marketing and communications director of Metrocrest Services, “and this past holiday season was proof that we can make a difference for our friends and neighbors, ultimately providing them with services that put them on a path to self-sufficiency. Some holiday magic along the way also helps, too!”

Like Santa’s workshop come to life, the Metrocrest Services Holiday Store opened its doors to clients of Metrocrest Services December 9-20. Toys and games for children of all ages, bicycles and helmets, clothing, personal care items and much more were available for caregivers to select from for their children, at no cost to them. The store was stocked with donations from generous community members.

A fun, festively decorated space complete with Christmas trees, holiday music and spirited volunteers made the experience bright for Metrocrest Services clients. In all, 2,402 children received gifts chosen just for them – children who, otherwise, might not have had anything under the tree – and caregivers experienced the joy of selecting and gifting something their child would love.

“Thank you for making my kids’ Christmas special!” Claudia, a client of Metrocrest Services, remarked to volunteers and staff.

In addition to the holiday store, Metrocrest Services also offered a senior gifting program that allowed the community to create and donate gift baskets with specific local senior citizens in mind. These elaborate gift baskets held everything from soft and cozy items like new robes, slippers and blankets, to delicious cookies snacks, items for the home, gift cards, personal notes and cards, and much more. The baskets were then delivered to seniors’ homes, giving volunteers an opportunity to visit and spread holiday cheer. In all, 69 seniors from the Metrocrest community who otherwise might have felt forgotten over the holidays received holiday spirit and some special gifts.

“Best Christmas we’ve had in a long time,” remarked a senior who received a basket.

Making this holiday season sparkle was the dedication of Metrocrest Services staff, donors to the program and volunteers. Seven hundred and thirty-two volunteers gave of their time and energy during this past holiday season to help those in need, contributing 2,135 volunteer hours.

“We are grateful that people took time out of their busy holiday season to help us make magic for those in need,” Hardegree said. “The smiles on the faces of the people who came through our doors are proof that we are making a difference, and that is truly because of the support our organization receives from the community. We hope everyone keeps the holiday spirit in their hearts throughout the year as we help individuals on their path to self-sufficiency.”

Now headquartered in Carrollton, Metrocrest Services has welcomed even more clients into its new home this year – people who are in need of everything from food to feed their families to help with rent and electrical bills, job training and other needs. In the last four months of 2023, the non-profit agency experienced a 50 percent increase in new food pantry clients – people who have never asked for help from Metrocrest Services before – over the same timeframe last year.

Metrocrest Services provides wrap-around services all year long – meaning it helps clients with the many aspects of getting on the road to independence, including providing assistance with food, rent, job skills, financial education and much more. Metrocrest Services is well-positioned to help area residents in need. The non-profit agency relies on donations of funding and volunteer time from the community. To get involved, visit metrocrestservices.org/donate

Metrocrest Services, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs for individuals, families and seniors that lead to self-sufficiency and foster independence. Programs include rent and utility bill assistance, financial and budgeting assistance, food pantry, employment coaching and transportation, minor home repairs and home-delivered meals to benefit seniors. Additionally, Metrocrest provides programs focused on children including holiday gifts and summer food. For more information, visit metrocrestservices.org.

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