As the holiday season approached Housing Opportunites was gearing up to help provide Christmas for the families they serve through their homeless programs with a program called Angels Helping Angels. This was the 10th year for this outreach program and each year it has grown to serve more families.
For the 2013 holiday season, Housing Opportunities provided gifts for 112+ children. Although excitement was the first reaction for most staff at Housing Opportunities when it came to Angels Helping Angels, fear quickly followed. There is always fear of not knowing if the community will accept the challenge and give enough support to help run this program.
Rick Calinski, Public Affairs Manager from NIPSCO, heart the challenge, accepted it, and put any fear to rest. NIPSCO knows the importance of being a good neighbor and community member. When they learned of the opportunity to make sure no child went without Christmas, there was no hesitation to step in and make it happen. Their generous donation not only provided support for the overall Angels Helping Angels program to ensure the mission served the purpose, but the remainder of the donation went directly into gifts for the children who needed it.
This year, as in each year past, the community stepped up once again and helped to spread Christmas joy. Many angels from local businesses, churches, families, and individuals played the part of a Christmas angel to give the children of Housing Opportunities a Christmas to remember.
Caren Furdeck, Development Coordinator at Housing Opportunities stated, "Without community members like NIPSCO who understand the need to support the mission, we could not continue the Angels Helping Angels program. The same goes for the generosity of the community Angels who adopt the children and provided items from their wish list- without them we would have had a lot of homeless children waking up on Christmas morning with no joy and a broken spirit. You cannot put a price on giving the gift of Christmas spirit. Thanks to so many, there were tears of happiness on the morning of December 25th for those most vulnerable clients that we serve, our children."
A thank you note from a teen whose family benefited from the Angels Helping Angels program read- "I haven't believed in Santa Claus for almost 10 years now, but on Christmas morning, I realized that Santa Claus isn't just a fictional character who brings stuff, Santa Claus is a character trait in wonderful people like you. Thank you for giving my family a Christmas to remember."
Housing Opportunities is the largest provider of services to the homeless and those at-risk of homelessness in Porter and La Porte counties. Their mission is to empower families and individuals by providing housing solutions via access to housing options that are safe, decent, and affordable, and customizing client support services that foster self-reliance.
For more information, visit www.housing-opportunities.com or call 219.548.2800.