Christmas in Abilene

Children, youth and families from two programs of BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene celebrated Christmas over the past week.

At the PAL party, guests play a holiday-themed game.

Youth from the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program enjoyed gift-giving, games and a traditional Christmas meal on December 13. Representatives from both the U.S. Army and Job Corps presented to the youth in attendance about what their organizations could offer. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services presented each of the youth with gift-filled stockings, and Wylie Christian Church, a local donor and partner of BCFS-Abilene for many years, brought gifts for the youth as well as the young adults in the program with children. Several members of the church even came to celebrate with BCFS-Abilene and the youth from PAL.

At the HOPES party, Santa Claus holds one of the younger members of the program with care.

Another celebration took place on the evening of December 18, where parents and children from the Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES) program had their own party with a “Pancakes and Pajamas” theme. Local new station KTAB worked with BCFS-Abilene to give the families in the HOPES programs gifts for Christmas, holding a toy drive that Abilene residents donated to. In addition, private donations were made to BCFS-Abilene to give children winter coats and clothing. In total, each of the 46 children in the HOPES program received multiple Christmas gifts and a new winter outfit.

Throughout the year, BCFS Health and Human Services hosts events during the holidays for their clients and communities. It is as important as much of the work that they do, providing an opportunity to celebrate the time together.

“A lot of our youth don’t have the nuclear family anymore,” said Will Meiron, program director with BCFS-Abilene. “They don’t have anywhere to go for Christmas. They’re young adults or young parents on their own. So to give them a chance to celebrate with peers in their same age range and from a similar life path can be really special. What we offer is a family environment with food, fellowship and a good time.”

Learn more about BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene.