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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2017 18:00

2017 Venable and AAU Christmas

Joyce Venable Carousel

AAU Volunteer Makes "A Christmas Wish" Come True For Many!

Baltimore's Greenmount Recreation Center is a refuge; a safe place to receive educational assistance, for recreational activities and a meeting place for the community. On December 24th the Center held its 26th annual "A Christmas Wish" program and provided coats, food baskets, books and toys to local children.

"A Christmas Wish" was created, developed and directed by AAU Volunteer and Baltimore City's Department of Recreation and Parks Recreation Leader Joyce Venable. The program originated in the East Baltimore Midway neighborhood at the Cecil Kirk Recreation Center.

 “A group of kids were sitting around discussing what they were going to get for Christmas,” Joyce said. “Among them was this sweet and lovable kid who was the child of a single parent mother who has an addiction problem and I knew this kid was not going to get anything for Christmas. So, I asked my friends to adopt just one of my kids for Christmas. In the first year, thirty five kids who would not have had a Christmas holiday had one through what became, A Christmas Wish.”

This year, Joyce and the Center distributed gifts to over 150 children. "The kids in my comunity are my family and my greatest personal fulfilment comes from watching these children open their Christmas gifts!" says Joyce.

Neither the gifts, food nor apparel are bought using the Center’s budget. Gifts and donations come exclusively from friends of Staff, members of the community, former attendees of the recreation centers who are now adults, and organizations that have had a long standing relationship with program organizers, including the Maryland District AAU.

"As always," says Ben DuBose, MD AAU Governor, "Maryland District AAU is excited to be able to help Joyce with this much-needed program. Her committment to her kids, and dedication to her community is truly inspirational. We help wherever we can, with our gifts monies and time." Several AAU Volunteers were here today serving food and helping to give out gifts.

Joyce was transferred to the Greenmount Recreation Center in 2012 where she and Center Director Terri Fulp continued and expanded the program. “The delight and appreciation on the faces of these children brought me to tears. Without this program, many of them were not going to have Christmas,” said Ms.Fulp.


(Editor's Note* PHOTOS of this fantastic event will be posted soon... Please check back!)

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