Today, as families celebrate Christmas with presents and traditional holiday meals, Community Action Agency employees, volunteers and donors are an honorary part of many of those celebrations.
Through programs, donations and time, those groups were able to make Christmas special for thousands of Minnesotan families. From toys to food vouchers to gift cards to monetary donations, Community Action Agencies champions showed up to support the community in a myriad of ways.
“CAP Agency is a blessing,” said Mona Peterson of Shakopee, whose family participated in Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver & Dakota Counties’ Hope for the Holidays program.
Nyamouch Ruach, a mother of four, took part in United Community Action Partnership’s Holiday Project in McLeod County. Despite having a job, purchasing enough presents for four children under the age of 10 was difficult.
“It helped a lot,” Ruach said of UCAP’s Holiday Project. “It was very helpful. It means a lot to make them happy,” she noted of her children.
Elizabeth “Lizzy” Chau walked to UCAP’s Hutchinson present distribution get some gifts for her daughter. It was Chau’s first time participating in the program.
“I’m disabled,” Chau said. “My husband can make good money, but his work isn’t always dependable. It’s nice to have Community Action.”
It wasn’t only toys, Community Action Agencies helped families with for the holidays.
Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties supplied families with brand new coats from a donation drive. Anoka County Community Action Program held a holiday card drive for seniors in its programs to brighten their holiday season. And, agencies such as Inter-County Community Council and Wright County Community Action provided holiday meal boxes.
Regardless of what was needed or given, Community Action Agencies in Minnesota did their best to make the holiday season one of joy instead of despair for plenty of families.
“They’re helping a lot of people,” said Ismar Ayala, who received a gift card for food and presents for her children through Community Action. “That’s a good thing they’re doing.”
Learn more about Community Action at minncap.org.