This summer our girls woke up early at Krause Children’s Center in the dark morning dawn. They were anticipating a break from their routines and a reason to celebrate: Christmas. The staff members at Krause Children?s Center are always thinking outside the box for ways to bring joy and light to the lives of the girls they serve. The tradition started a few years ago, but plans this year were almost scrapped because of the pandemic, but Quana Smith, Director of Volunteer Services, knew Christmas in July was exactly what the girls at Krause needed.
The Christmas in July tradition was inspired by the need to bring hope to the girls in the middle of the year. Many of the girls come to Krause with nothing and some have not had positive experiences in the past during the holiday season. The celebration gives them the chance to spark new memories. Since most of the girls are only here for six to nine months, a majority of them that are here in the summer don’t get to experience Christmas at Krause, said Quana. We hope to give them a little wonder and taste of Christmas in July.
Normally the anticipation for Christmas in July begins building in June, but this year it was kept as a surprise. The festivities began when Quana distributed art supplies for a Christmas tree decorating contest. Excitement filled the air as they worked together to decorate their room doors with Christmas trees and whirlwinds of paper snowflakes, complete with a roaring paper fireplace and paper cups for Santa. As they decorated, they wondered what they might receive the next day. Later that night the staff placed gifts under each tree while the girls were sleeping.
Christmas classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” filled the halls the next morning as the girls sipped on hot chocolate and ate donuts. Then the gift opening began in a flurry of joy, each girl looking for her name. Every girl received flip flops, candy, make-up, cotton candy, popcorn balls and a fanny pack or purse. It took many people to pull the celebration off. No volunteer groups could participate this year due to social distancing, but the community came together to bring Christmas to the girls.
The Ramnath family donated shoulder purses, makeup and all the items for the hot chocolate bar. Chicktime in Katy gave hugs and kisses candy in beautiful boxes. National Charity League-Azalea Chapter donated the gift bags, Christmas cards, flip-flops, and candy. Current Church donated fanny packs and candy. Kinsmen Lutheran Church donated fanny packs and makeup. 9 Round Kick donated make-up and lip balm, and Redeemer Church gave sandals, earbuds, and makeup. The sweet day ended with food from Papa Gyros and Proud Pie.
Krause Children’s Center is a residential treatment center dedicated to changing the lives of courageous young women ages 12 to 17 through in-depth clinical therapy, personal development activities and spiritual care in a safe setting. Are you interested in supporting our mission? Contact Quana Smith for more information at [email protected] or by calling 281.392.7505 extension 3129.