You are invited to celebrate Christmas Eve, AND to share with refugee children in our area! In Massachusetts, there are currently 165 unaccompanied refugee minors living in our midst. They are part of a Federal program with 25 offices nationwide. We will be working with them through Ascentria Care Lines in Waltham, MA. These youth, mostly teens, are housed in foster homes or group homes. While their basic needs are met, they seldom get “treats.”
So, we invite you to share a treat: Please consider donating small ($5-$10) gift cards to places teens in Massachusetts like: (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Walmart, Kohls, Claire’s, dollar stores, etc.) If you wish to donate more, please purchase several small cards rather than one large one.
These will be given to Ascentria Care Lines, Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program, in Waltham, MA. Each year in February, a special gathering is held for all the youth involved, and these treats will be given to them then. (We will also be invited to that gathering, if we wish to attend!) About 70% of these Massachusetts youth are Christian, mostly from Central America. Other religions and regions are also represented, which is why the gathering is held in February.
You may bring your gift card donations to the Late Christmas Eve (11:30pm-midnight) service, or bring them to the church office before that. The Late Christmas Eve service will include a special blessing on your gifts, as well as a reading of a newly published book called Refuge, written by Anne Booth & Sam Usher. This book reminds us that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were themselves refugees that first Christmas season.