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Sharing Christmas cheer with local kids

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‘Tis the season of cheer—supposedly. But for some people, it’s a season of sadness. Instead of looking forward to a Christmas filled with family fun, food, presents… some expect nothing more than the painful reminder that they don’t have a family. And as for presents, we all know Santa is really your mom and dad.

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Foster children are among those who find the holidays difficult. Thankfully, some churches and non-profit organizations are sensitive to their predicament and do their part to help bring the real Christmas message a closer.

Orphans First is an organization that mostly reaches overseas kids (the closest being in Tijuana, Mexico). But it also advocates for the underprivileged children in America and promotes a more recently founded local church group, ROCC – Reaching Orphans & Children-in-Crisis.

ROCC is a group that meets monthly on the campus of North Coast Church, Vista and serves as a resource to get people plugged into being involved with children-in-crisis in big and small ways. ROCC’s emphasis is primarily on local kids in need. This year, for the first time, ROCC organized a Christmas Party for emancipated foster youth, those who have aged out of the foster system, from Oceanside based Case de Amparo.

Casa de Amparo provides transitional housing for some forty young people between the ages of 18-24 and helps coach them in life skills. With the help of volunteers, Casa gives them the opportunity to adjust to adulthood and all the daunting responsibilities it imposes in a safe environment.

The young adults and their babies were invited to ROCC’s special Christmas Party held last Friday at North Coast Church in Vista. And what a party it was with presents galore, a photo booth, live original music played by Francesco DeMeo, a Santa and his lovely elf, food provided by Chick-fil-a, homebaked goodies, games, prizes…the works.

The party was a glorious display of people’s generosity. North Coast Church provided the facilities for the party, and donated Bibles. But the gifts, food, fun & games, and music were provided by a variety of individuals—mostly people who’d either heard of ROCC or Orphans First, and wanted to do their part in making a difference in kids’ lives.

Not only did each kid (and their babies) receive a gift bag full of special fun and practical items, but they also received a Walmart gift card and a pair of flip-flop sandals donated by Cobian Sandals.

‘Twas a night to be remembered. And hopefully a night which will be followed up with lots more investment in these precious young people’s lives.

Learn more about ROCC here.

Discover more about Orphans First here.

Find out more about Casa de Amparo here.

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © December 2013

www.orphansfirst.org
www.twitter.com/JaneyDeMeo
http://janey-demeo.blogspot.com

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