Christmas is a time to celebrate life. To remember the importance, the joys and the challenges of being part of a family. Christmas day was made happier for many of our families through the generosity of so many supporters who donated gifts, food vouchers, food and transport. Challenge staff and extended whanau celebrated throughout the Wellington Region.
Junior turned out to be a brilliant Father Christmas, particularly with the little ones who slept through his ho ho hos! Unfortunately some of the little ones screamed when they saw him with a big white beard and could only be consoled when he took it off. However, they enjoyed playing hide and seek, meeting Santa (beardless!), and opening their many presents! The more grown up members of the group enjoyed cuddling the little babies, having some lovely food, sharing stories about 2011, and relaxing together.
As usual some of our staff were also out and about – fixing a TV for an elderly Johnsonville lady, delivering emergency meat and vegetables, filling up the car with petrol so the family could return to Taranaki, taking out some young men to relieve pressure at home and gathering up soothing lotion for sunburnt adolescents.
The Christmas period is also a hard time for many of our young people who are ‘reunited’ with family members they know little of. So a lot of our time is spent texting and calling to ensure that the gains the young people have made are maintained over their time away from Challenge.
As always it is great to have staff who are prepared to give up their special Christmas time to support our young people and continue to be there when needed.