REFLECTIONS FROM ALICE ZACCARELLO
The Christmas party at The Well is a highlight of the year for our members. The festive atmosphere, the kindness of volunteers and the generosity of gift-givers come together to provide a truly magical evening for those who find the holidays a particularly tricky season to navigate.
On this evening they tease and laugh with one another and with the volunteers who serve them an incredible meal and desserts provided by area churches and Norma’s Café. Members’ eyes are wide with anticipation when they are invited to receive from Santa a gift bag of personal care items and a $50 gift card (provided by local churches* and generous donors).
There is a palpable joy in the room as carols are sung and hugs exchanged, and I find myself caught up in the spirit of the season. These are people who have many reasons to despair. They have many opportunities to give up. And yet they continue to try, to care, to hope.
Of all the gifts given at our Christmas party, I suspect the most important one wasn’t wrapped in bright red paper. It didn’t come from Santa’s hand. It was the truth spoken by Pastor Brent McDougal as he reminded our members that even though they may experience rejection from others and even though they may not fit in in other places, at The Well Community they are welcomed. At The Well Community they belong. And therein is hope for the holidays.
* Many, many thanks to the churches, businesses, community groups and individuals who made our Christmas celebration possible, including: Cliff Temple Baptist Church, Kessler Park United Methodist Church, All Saints Dallas, Trinity Church, 12 Days Oak Cliff and Norma’s Café.