Happy New Year and Thank you!

by jbragg | No Comments

I have been so busy at the Arc during this holiday season. I would like to thank some people who made this holiday season very special for us!

Every year, USAA hosts a party for the participants at The Arc.  An USAA employee will buy a Participant a holiday gift that he or she has wished for. I asked for the book, “The Lost Hero” by Rick Riodran. It is about children who are the descendants of Greek gods and goddesses. All of the Arc of San Antonio is so thankful to the company of USAA and its employees for making the holiday season, very jolly.

Special thanks to Mr. Doug W. (the father of my friend and classmate, Arc V.I.P. Participant, Megan W.) and his friends in his musical band for coming and singing Christmas carols and making the holidays very merry. He is very nice to take time out of his schedule to entertain us.

Another special thank you to an employee of the Christmas Gallery store located at 13522 West Avenue (next door to The Arc) for a donation of Christmas angel ornaments during an outing to the store.

We had a jazzy good time at our New Year’s Eve Dance, hosted by Staff Member, Leon S. on Friday, December 28th, 2012. We made New Year’s arts and crafts like, 2013 Party Hats, Noise Makers, and Paper Plate Banners. I would like to give special acknowledgement goes to Arc Staff Members, Tiffany V. and Ginette R. (who leads Classroom # 10) for making such wonderful and whimsical New Year’s Eve party hats for the Participants.

The Participants in my class in the V.I.P. (Volunteer Involvement Program) at the Arc of San Antonio on West Avenue decided that we wanted to give back to our community during this holiday season. We decided to donate to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. Using the money that we collected from our healthy food snack bar sales that we have every Friday afternoon, we were taken, by our classroom Arc Staff Member, Raechelle B., to a Wal-Mart store, where they brought three gifts for two young girls and a boy in the Angel Tree Program. This program, which is over 120 years old, helps low income families get Christmas gifts for their children. When families are accepted, the Salvation Army will place the children’s first name on an Angel Tree tag, including their age, gender, clothing sizes, their wish and their need. The V.I.P. Participants and I asked Ms. Andrea (the Arc’s Director of Day Services) to help them to choose three tags from the Angel Tree at Rolling Oaks Mall. The program usually helps around 2,500 families every year and around 6,000 children receive gifts for Christmas. It gave the other V.I.P.’S and me a great feeling to make a child’s holiday wishes come true.

During the month of December, we made holiday cards for the senior citizens at the Golden Estates Nursing Home. Later on, some of the Participants and Staff Members delivered the hand-made greeting cards to very happy people. We also had a “Drivers’ Appreciation Day” to show gratitude to all of the drivers that make sure the Arc Participants arrive and return to their homes safely.

On Friday, December 14th, the case workers and administrative staff members that work in the upstairs offices at the Arc had a Christmas decoration contest organized by Arc Staff Member, Ms. Beth Green, The Arc of San Antonio’s Director of Development. Brittany and I were the judges and I am very happy  that the first place certificate was awarded to Ms. Edna T. for the Most Magnificently Magical Christmas / Holiday Decorations. The second place certificate was awarded to Ms. Keri O., Ms. Celsa A., Ms. Annette C. for the Most Merry and Spectacular Christmas / Holiday Decorations. The third place certificate was awarded to Ms. Jill K., Ms. Kim F., Mr. Steven G. and Ms. Sheila H. for the Most Cheerily Creative Christmas / Holiday Decorations.

I made all of the decoration certificates and I’m so happy that the Staff Members like the certificates so much. All of the case workers and administrative staff members had a great time celebrating the holidays and decorating their work areas. My favorite decoration was Ms. Yolanda F.’s purple Christmas tree. Purple is my favorite color.

The Arc had a Holiday Classroom Door Decoration Contest. The goal was to come up with the most creative decorations. All of the Arc Participants and Staff Members worked really hard and were very proud of their holiday creations. The first place certificate was awarded to Classroom # 9 for the Most Holly-Jolliest Door Decorations named, “A Festive Fireplace.” The second place certificate was awarded to my class, the V.I.P. Classroom # 7 for the Most Magical Winter Wonderland Door Decorations with our decorations named, “Range for Reindeers.” The third place certificate was awarded to Classroom # 8 for the Most Delightfully Creative Holiday Door Decorations named, “I’m dreaming of a Merry Christmas.” All of the other Participants, Staff Members, and I had a great time celebrating the holidays and decorating their classroom doors.

I have so many great memories from the past year. The crowning of the king and queen of hearts, the Fiesta Float contest (which my class won first place), the ninth annual summer Talent show, and the Halloween and holiday decoration contests.

I hope that everyone who reads my blog had a happy and safe holiday season and a great New Year’s.



Comments are closed.