It’s that time of year, when the Christmas trees are coming down, and lights are being taken out of windows. But before we say a final goodbye to the holiday season, we’d like to thank all of those who made all of our holiday events a success.

A group of volunteers from Target take a break from serving to pose for a photo

On Monday, December 17th, nearly two hundred participants and children enjoyed the festivities at the annual Inspiration Cafe Holiday Party. Music for the evening was provided by The Exceptions, a group of talented staff-members from Northern Trust. Children of all ages were thrilled with a visit from Santa, who was helped by the generosity of our January volunteer of the month, Mike Recine, in passing out the gifts. Food, desserts, decorations and clean-up were all handled by volunteer groups from Target, CICS Northtown School, Latin School, Spacca Napoli and Oxfam. Thank you for helping make it an unforgettable evening.

Santa makes a visit to The Living Room Cafe

Two days later, at the Living Room Cafe, more than one hundred participants and children enjoyed a festive holiday get-together as well. Making a return engagement this year was The Sam Sinclair Trio providing the music for the evening. They wrapped up the evening with a rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas, an annual tradition that’s quite the show-stopper. The event couldn’t have been done without help from the West Chicago Church of Christ, Chicago Cares and the Lindbloom Math & Science Academy.

Between the two parties, we served more than 40 turkeys, 40 hams, 250 pounds of potatoes and sweet potatoes, passed out more than 100 gifts, and hopefully brought a  bit of holiday cheer to everyone who participated.

And thanks to your generous support, we finished the calendar year with a higher level of donations than the past two Decembers combined. Thank you to all who made this holiday season special, and we look forward to everything  coming up in 2013!