What an exciting Christmas it has been at Youth Haven!
All throughout the month of December, deserving children filled our campuses with laughter, energy, and joy! They played games, sang Christmas carols, ate amazing food, and listened intently to the story of Jesus' birth from Luke 2. At the end of each of our special Christmas retreats, the children all received bags filled with gifts and toys, thanks to the generosity of so many wonderful friends who gave during our toy drive. For many of them, due to the hardships in their lives, the gifts we were able to give them were the only ones they received this Christmas.
We also had the blessing of personally delivering over 135 additional gift bags and mailing approximately 300 gift boxes to children in need. These included children who have been to Youth Haven before but weren't able to attend this Christmas, kids who are part of our Kids' Club after school programs, and other requests for help from struggling families. But we didn't want to pass up an opportunity to share the true Christmas story with those children, so we created a Harvey and Friends booklet to include with each bag and box. In that booklet, Harvey tells Nutty the Squirrel all about the birth of Jesus and the real reason we celebrate Christmas. You can check out the digital version of the story here, or on our kids' website at havenforkids.fun/christmas!
And that's not all! We continue to mail frequent activity pages, Bible stories, and handwritten notes and letters to nearly 1,500 children! Kids are always excited to receive mail, and these mailings encourage them to read their Bibles, talk to God in prayer, and write back to us. They can send in their completed activities to earn Harvey and Friends stickers and prizes, and every activity or letter we receive from a child gets a personal response. It's an important way for us to remind them they are loved and valued, not only by us, but by Jesus Himself!
We thank you for continuing to stand with us as we reach deserving kids with Christ's love!
A few photos from our Christmas retreats...