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Holly Jolly Holiday Party

Posted by Johnine Larsen on December 21, 2015
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What a day! We spent yesterday at Mary’s Place’s Holly Jolly Holiday Party passing out donated clothing with other Agents of Change.

Every year, Mary’s Place provides Seattle’s homeless community with a place to come in and be warm, get something to eat, and celebrate the season. It’s a celebration done right, and it’s hosted by some absolutely incredible people. We turned the day into a photo essay because it was too good of an experience not to share.

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Mary’s Place welcomed more than 1,600 homeless and formerly homeless family members to the Holly Jolly Holiday Party (official count still unknown), and they packed the building. We filled up the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall with laughing and smiling and the Holiday spirit.

 

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Every guest received a gift card for a new pair of shoes and a warm coat. An army of volunteers delivered pizza to the tables and made sure everyone was enjoying themselves.

 

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Kids (and adults) could take photos with Santa, of course!

 

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Mary’s Place set up the Santa Store in the back of the room. Parents and grandparents picked gifts to give their children, and kids picked gifts for their parents or grandparents. We saw a lot of love going into these decisions.

 

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Two DJs and a host of caroling made for the perfect seasonal entertainment. We had music throughout the day!

 

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Here’s where we spent the day: the clothing station. Kids lined up to pick out a set of fancy clothes for themselves, and we made sure the clothes fit. For some of these kids, it was the only set of nice clothes they’ve ever owned.

We spent the last month gathering these clothes with Agents of Change’s Holiday Clothing Drive, and we can’t begin to describe how good it felt to see these clothes going to kids who needed them.

 

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We had five racks of boys’ clothing. We gave away dozens of button-ups, slacks, sweaters, blazers, ties, and dress shoes. But although we had a huge supply of baby and toddler clothes, we ran out of clothes for boys for ages 5 and up. Next year, we’re going to focus on bringing in even more boys clothes.

 

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The girls’ clothing filled a whole room! We were giving out dresses and skirts and outfits nonstop.

 

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Here’s Johnine and fellow Agent of Change Kate Beck! I don’t think anyone left the Holly Jolly Holiday Party without a smile.

Thank you to everyone who helped with the drive! And if you didn’t get a chance to help this year, we’re already looking forward to next year.

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