Downtown Christmas Party 2021

Updated 2/10/22: A full-hearted thank you note from LINK Hampton Roads is included at the bottom of this post. It is a must read!

Coordinated and directed by Ellen Williams, the 36th annual Downtown Christmas Party carried Jesus to 240 people in the community. Donations of time, gifts and monies helped Ellen and her team of adults and youth successfully bring Christmas joy to individuals and families.

Below are images of distribution days for individuals and families. Each received customized bags! Bags included items such as NEW coats, clothing and toys, as well as backpacks with school supplies, hats and scarves, plus compilations of toiletries and edible treats.

The youth from the Peninsula Cluster Youth Ministry (grades 6-12) worked behind the scenes to sort, compile and haul before the party, and donated their time and smiles on distribution days. Two VERY dedicated youth from our Prek-5th grade program participated too. Furthermore, Peninsula Catholic High School adopted families and our parishioners adopted individuals helping to increase the number of people served by The Downtown Christmas Party to 240 from 170 in 2020. This included adults who receive services from LINK of Hampton Roads and who shared with Ellen that they have not received a Christmas present in many years. Thank you to members of the US Navy who wrapped each of those presents. The Downtown Christmas Party is a stellar example of what Fr. John Bosco challenges each of us to do in our daily lives, “[Carry] Jesus to others.”

Although not pictured, Ellen and her team also customized Christmas gift bags for the guests who frequent our Back Door kitchen. Chef Leroy and his team prepared a Christmas feast and Ellen and her son distributed coats, sweatshirts, socks, and more. Our Back Door Ministry is alive in downtown Newport News!

A huge thank you to all of those who donated time, goods and funds. To Ellen and her husband Don, your 354 day commitment to this ministry is inspiring! (Yes, they take one day off.)