Area nonprofits worked together Thursday to give the families they help a chance to celebrate.
Drug Court, the Grace Center, The Landing, Outcast for Christ, Naomi House and Broadway House invited families to a Christmas party at the Colvert Ministry Center. Guests decorated their own Christmas ornaments, sang Christmas carols and took pictures with Santa.
Amber Chavez, director of The Landing, helped organize the event. The Landing, part of First United Methodist Church, is a support group for children grades 6 through 12.
“We want to become one in this community, and we have a need for drug court participants’ kids to be involved, and we want to collaborate with the organizations,” Chavez said. “We all want to work together in this community to service people and get them what they need.”
Originally, the Grace Center and The Landing were planning their own events, but decided to combine them and invite other nonprofits to get involved.    
“The Grace Center has been so generous,” Chavez said. “We have 140 gifts to give to 140 different children, we have a band that’s going to play Christmas carols, Denny’s has been so gracious to provide us with a full Christmas meal tonight.”
The Landing held a similar event last year, throwing a small party for children in the support group, with Denny’s providing dinner and gifts for the kids. Chavez said this year, other organizations were able to get involved and turn last year’s smaller event into an evening for families.
“Christmas time is a time when a lot of people hurt so, when we love others as Jesus did, we can all come together as one and love this community the way Jesus would,” Chavez said. When I have a kid (at The Landing), the Grace Center has their parents, there are several of us who sit on the Board of Directors for the Drug Court and you see the same people there. So we all see the need, and we’ve all come together to take care of it.”
Grace Day Center Director Megan Boyer said the evening was just another way of helping the families the center already assists.  
“A lot of people struggle this time of year, but the people that we work with on a daily basis sometimes barely make ends meet throughout the whole year,” Boyer said. “So this time, it’s extremely difficult. So we’re hoping to lift that burden so the kids can have a good time. Why have a small party with just a few kids when you can have a huge party with all of the kids?”