We wanted to share a special story from last Christmas morning to help get everyone in the spirit:
It was Cheryl’s first Christmas at Covenant House. This was her third stay at our Crisis Program and she had lasted 2 ½ months during this current stay which was amazing since this youth often complained about various aspects of living in a structured environment. On Christmas morning, Cheryl was unusually chipper. Especially after finding a surprise backpack labelled specifically for her outside her bedroom door, which contained various Christmas goodies and gift cards. Cheryl then greeted us with a “Merry Christmas”.
She politely but doubtfully asked if there was a pair of ear phones she could borrow since she had lost hers. As it turns out, Covenant House had a box of wrapped gifts for the youth waiting to be handed out; the gifts were MP3 Players with earphones! Cheryl was pleasantly surprised and she unwrapped the gift as though Santa knew what was on her wish list. She so excited, just like every kid at Christmas. Cheryl sat at a table in our common space with a permanent smile as she opened and examined the gift.
Cheryl was then directed to check under the Christmas tree where there was small gift bags with more treats. As the day went on, Cheryl laughed and joked with co-residents. In the afternoon, a youth worker escorted the youth to Robson Square for a Christmas skate. On the walk there, a youth worker overheard Cheryl telling her co-residents that this has been the best Christmas in the last three years. When Cheryl arrived at the ice rink, it was clear that ice skating was not her forte but she spent the entire time taking baby steps. Just like she has been taking baby steps with us at Covenant House!