It seems suspiciously early to be talking about Christmas in September; after all, there are still 100 days to go! However there is method behind our madness. To throw a party for over 1.5 million children and their families is a logistical feat which takes several months to prepare, hence the early start. Seeing the joy and hearing the positive impact it has upon the children makes it worth it every single time.
All of the Compassion – supported children and their families gather at the local Compassion project to receive a gift, a meal and an eagerly anticipated party. The purpose of this Christmas party is to provide children with a time of singing, playing and to teach them the story of the birth of Jesus and His love for every single one of them.
In the Dominican Republic, families traditionally gather for a special supper on Christmas Eve. Typical dishes include roast chicken, rice with green peas, salads, apples and sweets. “Some parents have come to us saying that their children have never had the chance to eat an entire apple,” says Calixta Polanco Veloz, director of the La Vid Verdadera Child Development Centre. “Because at their homes, they buy two apples and they cut them into pieces for the five or six children they have.” The festive meal provided by the Compassion Christmas Fund helps to ease the financial burden at this time of year.
Parents are also extremely grateful as they often cannot afford to buy presents for their children so the gift from the Compassion project helps immensely. Last year, Yonalquis and Raul received jeans for their Christmas present. At the beginning of 2013, their father Yesimas intervened in a quarrel to prevent the murder of another man but was seriously injured. In the months leading up to Christmas, Yesimas has been unemployed as he was still recovering from his injury. Struggling to simply feed his family, the gift of clothes to his children was welcomed gladly. “As parents, we feel happy,” Yesimas says. “This is a big help to us, too.”
Please join us in blessing more than 1.5 million children in poverty this Christmas by donating to the Compassion Christmas Fund today.