81 families, 324 children.
That’s the total that the House of Mercy (HOM) was able to help with their “Christmas with Mercy” program this year.
According to a release, each year children in need are able to receive presents from the organization “based on their enrolled parent’s participation in the numerous free classes available at HOM. The classes include Personal Money Management, ESL, and Cooking and Nutrition.”
This year in particular proved to be a Christmas miracle for the organization, according to HOM Executive Director Ann Cimini.
Cimini said that by mid-December House of Mercy was unsure if they would have enough gifts, but after area publications picked up the story, they had an outpouring of community support.
“It was truly a Christmas miracle. The gifts poured in; so much, in fact, we were able to share our bounty with other organizations in the area,” stated Cimini.
The remaining gifts that the House of Mercy had were given to the Georgetown South community, a mobile home community on Tayloe Drive, All Saints Catholic Church, and another small Baptist church, according to a release.
“We have been so blessed, it is only fitting that these gifts continue providing happiness to children in our neighborhoods,” stated HOM Assistant Director Felice Hilton.
Volunteers worked more than 270 hours to make sure that the presents were ready and that HOM client parents had a special day to “shop” for Christmas gifts for their children.
More on organizations that took part in the gift-giving, from a release:
House of Mercy offers thanks to these organizations, in addition to the hundreds of individuals throughout northern Virginia who responded to the need for gifts and volunteers: Holy Trinity Parish (Gainesville), C & A Scientific, All Saints School (Manassas), Our Lady of Hope Parish (Sterling), Hibernians of St. Mary of Sorrows (Fairfax), Benedictine Sisters of Virginia (Bristow), 40 & 8 of the American Legion (Manassas), Long & Foster Bull Run Plaza, ECPI University (Criminal Justice department), Virginia Realty Group (RE/Max), and all of the regional publications who helped get the word out.
“Gifts are a way for people to show their love for each other. So it’s important for our client parents to have the ability to show love for their children by providing gifts. These are presents the parents select based on knowledge of their children’s personalities, which makes the gift giving more special,” stated Hilton.