For children from disadvantaged circumstances, the glitter and excitement of the holiday season can be an especially unhappy time.
But once again in 2007, for the 11th consecutive year, the nonprofit and business partnership known as "We Care" is stepping in to deliver some seasonal sparkle to deserving children from coast to coast.
We Care unites the Boys & Girls Clubs of America with furniture manufacturers Geiger and Herman Miller Inc., along with many of the country's leading interior design firms, to host a holiday gathering for children in need. This year 20 cities across the United States and Canada are hosting We Care events with the support of more than 200 architecture and design firms, Bloomingdale's, and a host of energetic on-site volunteers.
"We have been involved with the We Care project for several years now," says Ronnie Jenkins, vice president, Services to Clubs, of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "During that time, hundreds of kids from communities with limited resources have been able to take part in a day of seasonal celebration. We Care also has enabled the Boys & Girls Clubs to work side-by-side with local business leaders who really do care about their communities. We are pleased to lend our support to this worthy cause."
Each We Care celebration features entertainment and snacks. The youngsters are provided a variety of craft materials and encouraged to make holiday gifts and cards for family and friends. Representatives from each city's foremost interior design firms are on hand to help the kids achieve their artistic vision. And last but certainly not least, Santa Claus stops by for a visit.
We Care resulted from a Geiger employee's realization that some less-fortunate kids in her community were unable to share in the joys of the holiday season. Through her initial efforts, a YMCA near Chicago's Cabrini Green housing project hosted the first We Care event in December 1997. Each year since, more cities across the country have signed on to host a We Care day of their own during the holidays.
Boys & Girls Clubs host We Care gatherings in many of the participating cities, working with their local schools to bring children to the festivities. The event requires months of preparation and coordination between the Boys & Girls Clubs, the partner companies and local interior designers, yet all agree the effort is worthwhile.
"This year we're expecting more than 4,000 children to participate in the We Care events," says Sara Straus, national program manager for We Care. "The number of cities hosting We Care also continues to grow and we're very thankful for the incredible support from our sponsors and the volunteers who make these events possible."
Additional information on nationwide We Care events is available by contacting Sara Straus at (212) 318-3934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.