Back at work this week, I’ll admit I had a small case of the post-holiday blues. So in an effort to stave off the back-to-work doldrums, I have been spending time reflecting and practicing gratitude for the many holiday celebrations made possible this year thanks to community’s support.
Every summer, a dedicated group of Addiction and Mental Health staff and volunteers hosts a book stand at the Fringe to raise money for holiday celebrations for individuals who access mental health and addiction services in Edmonton. This past year, thanks to your support, we raised a record number of dollars!
Though in the scheme of things it is a small sum, the money generously contributed through the Fringe book sale enables us to spread joy to so many programs and individuals. It has been a pleasure hearing about the creative plans each program’s staff thought up, and receiving more positive stories after the holidays. Every dollar went toward acts of kindness designed to ensure everyone had the opportunity to feel special during the holidays.
To give you a small sense of the joy you helped spread:
11 Addiction and Mental Health programs held holiday-themed events. The festivities included a pancake breakfast and pizza party for young adults at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, several Christmas parties with turkey dinners prepared by community members, a Christmas tea and celebration dance, and snacks and small gifts for everyone!
ACCESS Open Minds hosted a Christmas party for 50 young adults and family members! In addition to getting pictures with Santa, those who attended made Christmas cards, decorated gingerbread people, and played games. Practical gifts like warm clothing and toiletries were given as door prizes. The staff at Young Adult Services pass along their sincere thanks for enabling them to give the young adults they work with with a positive Christmas celebration this year.
The TIES to Recovery program held two small parties for their clients as well. Says the staff:
We noticed a big impact on the clients’ moods before and after the party. The party games helped increase laughter, build skills, build closeness and trust between individuals and staff, and increased personal sharing. Many of those who attended expressed how this helped them go into the Christmas season with a more positive outlook and better prepared with ideas as to how to survive the holidays especially when family dynamics were poor or non-existent.
We hope that you had an equally joyous holiday, and if you’re also struggling with the post-holiday blues this week, know that your support may have contributed to someone else’s happiness this past holiday season (and dig into some of that discount holiday candy, it works for me!).
Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Perhaps this year you might consider supporting mental health care in Edmonton, and become a Monthly Giver! Learn more here.