Joseph experiences Christmas at Covenant House

This story was shared by Ashley a youth worker in our Crisis Program after last Christmas:

In the Crisis Program at Christmas, the residents are all given a Christmas backpack (full of hygiene supplies, clothing, and other goodies). This year, some other generous donors added in some extra presents – movie tickets, pyjamas pants, toques, scarves, and candies.

Joseph was the first resident awake on Christmas morning. Joseph grew-up in foster homes. His biological parents are drug and alcohol addicts. They use him for money. He has struggled – he uses when he is around them. He knows what is best for him it’s to be here in the Crisis Program, where he can learn and grow and thrive.  Joseph always tries his best and he is a person who thinks of others before himself.  His heart is huge.

He came to the office and wished all of us a Merry Christmas. We told Joseph that he had some presents to open up – his face lit up as we took all the gifts. We first gave Joseph the backpack. His eyes ignited up and with giant smile thanked us very much for the Christmas backpack. We told him to wait, as there were more gifts to come.

When we went to give Joseph three other packages, he started to back away and said, “no, no, it’s okay, I’ll just take the backpack, it’s too much”. We insisted that he take the gifts, telling him that our donors wanted him to have a great Christmas. Joseph blushed as he took the gifts, and thanked staff many times.

We asked if he was going to open up the presents right away, Joseph said, “No, I want to wait for the other residents to wake up so we can all open the presents together.”

Joseph wanted to share his joy at Christmas and make sure others felt the same joy. It was a very special Christmas and I felt so grateful to be able to witness the happiness and joy our youth experienced.

Your gift today will have a vital impact on youth, like Joseph, in desperate need of support. Our $100,000 TRIPLE Matching Gift Challenge ends on December 31st!