There’s a palpable air of excitement at YouthCare during the month of December. Last week, it bubbled over the surface as young people celebrated the holidays in safe and welcoming spaces across YouthCare’s programs.
At YouthCare’s Orion Center, young people loaded up their plates with savory meatballs, mashed potatoes, cheese, and fruit at the party. They poured gourmet hot chocolate in their cups to warm up and spread out to every corner of the brightly decorated milieu.
A group of friends lined up at the photobooth, practicing their poses and browsing through the smattering of holiday props on the table. They laughed as they made silly faces, put on fake mustaches, and got their polaroid picture taken. Eager to capture these joyful moments, they asked if they could get extra photos so everyone in the group could take one with them.
Some youth hung out at the holiday decorating table for most of the party, focused on perfecting their sparkly creations. Others couldn’t resist getting up to dance when their favorite song came on.
At the University District Youth Center holiday party, young people walked into a festive space, decorated with patterned gift paper and giant bows.
They filled their plates with hearty mac and cheese, yummy pie and cookies, and homemade apple cider. They sang karaoke and played board games with new and old friends they hadn’t seen in a while. Winners of Bingo gathered raffle tickets to win prizes for the holiday gift room.
Our annual holiday parties are sacred spaces to connect with young people who YouthCare has helped in some way throughout the year, whether they stopped by for toiletries, talked with a case manager or career coordinator, or found shelter in one of our housing programs. These opportunities bring normalcy, support, and joy to youth during the holiday season—and they are only possible because of an outpouring of support from our community.
A special thanks to everyone who fulfilled holiday wishes, hosted a holiday drive, served a holiday meal, and volunteered this season! YOU made this holiday season the best ever.
Check out some photos from the party below!