Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Evangeline Residence Christmas Party

Kudos to Beth, Bev and others at Keele Street Christian Church for organizing the annual Christmas Party for the women of Evangeline Residence, many of whom attend services at our church. On Sunday we helped gift wrap the boxes of corporate and private donations of gloves, scarves, socks, shampoo, toothpaste and other items for each of the 72 residents. One church member kindly crocheted 72 pairs of slippers as she has done for several years.
We sang Christmas carols, chatted, gave out the gift bags and shared some goodies.
Looking around the room it struck me that many of the women fall into one of two categories; those new to this change in lifestyle who seemed bewildered and a little embarrassed; and those who have come to rely on the shelter system to keep them safe and off of the streets. It's difficult to imagine a sadder plight in either case.
I can't help thinking that although the Christmas gifts and socialization were warmly and gratefully received, there is more support that we can offer year round.

"The Evangeline Residence has served the women of Toronto for more than 100 years, in various locations. It can shelter as many as 77 women who are homeless for a variety of reasons. Abused women, refugees, post psychiatric patients, and mothers who need help reuniting and providing for their children come to the Evangeline Residence for help.
The Evangeline Residence ministers to the whole person – mind, body and soul in a way that affirms the value of each of the 1100 women who pass through its doors each year. They work to follow the example of Jesus who, “felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help.” Matthew 9:36, NLT" From the official website.

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