Adelante’s Family Christmas at L. Hollingworth School
By Federico Martínez, Special to La Prensa
A myriad of people attended Adelante’s Family Christmas/Navidad Fiesta, which included Christmas presents for children, plenty of fun activities, and tables overflowing with home-cooked food that families brought to share.
The event was held from 5 to 8 p.m., Dec. 17, 2014 at L. Hollingworth School for the Talented and Gifted, 653 Miami Street, Toledo, Ohio.
“We’re very happy with the turnout,” said Gisselle Mendoza, Adelante Inc.’s Executive Director. “The Christmas Party gives all the families from our programs an opportunity to meet and celebrate everyone’s success.”
In previous years the agency held separate Christmas parties for its different programs, said Ms. Mendoza, who was hired as the organization’s top administrator earlier this year. Not only wasn’t that cost effective, but it also seemed counter to Adelante’s mission: to work with various community partners to serve the needs of the Latino community, she said.
Saint Patrick Catholic Church of Heatherdowns and United Way Emerging Leaders Group donated dozens of boxes of new toys that were presented to youth during the Christmas party. Andersons donated some of the food.
Dozens of community volunteers like Sue Rodríguez Cuevas, president/CEO at Toledo’s Nueva Esperanza Credit Union and Anita Sánchez-Serda, executive director at Sylvania Area Family Services donated time to serve food to those who attended the event.
“We could not do what we do on a day to day basis without our partners and I am eternally grateful,” said Ms. Mendoza.
Some of the braver volunteer’s coordinated various activities to keep the excited youth busy before dinner was served and gifts handed out. Activities included: storytelling, arts and crafts, and games of jump rope and basketball.
Mrs. Rodríguez Cuevas said it’s important for the community to work together and help each other out.
“The credit union philosophy is “people helping people” which defines what Nueva Esperanza does and continues to do in the community; as well as what Adelante does,” she said. “We support Adelante and the amazing job they do; so anytime we can partner and help, we will.”
Several families talked about how the agency’s services have made a positive impact on their lives.