The holiday season at Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County is always one of our busiest times of the year, and also one of the most fun as well for both staff and clients!

The month of December kicked off with our Christmas Party hosted for the younger children and their families at I-Jump here in Tyler. The kids and their families had the opportunity to bounce across trampoline runways, challenge each other to a game of bouncing dodge ball, or race through the ninja course. Santa Claus also visited the party with a bag of presents for every child and their siblings. Our staff all look forward to the annual Client Christmas Party because it’s an event where they can converse with the parents, play with the kids and see the big smiles on the faces of every child.

The following weeks were focused on Holiday of Hope, our program that provides Christmas presents and necessities to families who would otherwise be unable to provide them this holiday season. Each family made a wish list and then they were sponsored by someone in the community who could either shop for them or provide a monetary gift for us to shop for that family. Our conference rooms turned into Santa’s Workshop with piles of toys and gifts, wrapping paper and bows ready to be picked up by our parents and caregivers. The joy and smiles on the faces of our clients as they came to pick up their items was indescribable.

All throughout December, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County was also blessed with generous businesses and groups in the community who wanted to serve us by conducting a drive and collecting items for the center! Some were toy drives while others were blankets and teddy bears or items for our Rainbow Room. This year we had over 15 drives which is the most we’ve ever had in one holiday season! Organizations including Andy Woods Elementary, the Brook Hill School, FedEx, and UT Tyler all organized and collected amazing items that go directly to our kids and their families. The generosity we have seen from the local community has been simply incredible and we could not be more grateful to have your support.

To close out the month, the CAC, along with other organizations, partnered with the Tyler Police Department to participate in an event called Blue Santa. Kids were paired with a police officer and given a set amount to spend at Walmart and then they were able to go shop with that officer. It was such a special time for these children to feel special and bond with an officer at a time in their life that is often unstable and difficult.

This time of year is considered by many to be the season of giving. Our ability to provide presents, necessities and experiences to our clients rests solely on people like YOU, who genuinely care about what we are doing at CAC and want to be a part of that mission. So thank you. Thank you for sharing the blessings in your life with those who are struggling this season and helping us show them that they are known and loved. Thank you.