This year, the Washington, D.C. Sales Office put together Thanksgiving baskets and purchased gifts for children in the Befriend a Child Program and for families in the Adopt a Family Holiday Program.
Sundance Vacations also had an employee who took part in the Befriend a Child holiday party on December 16.
Around 70 people got together for the Christmas party, ranging from mentees and mentors, the children’s families, and even a local fraternity from George Mason University. The fraternity members acted as waiters for the event with food that was donated by local restaurants.
When not serving, the fraternity put on a step show with three songs they made up! The DJ who was at the event played songs like the electric slide and had the dance floor filled!
Every child also got a big bag of goodies when they were leaving the party, plus the DC office also purchased and wrapped presents for the children in the program!
Sundance Vacations Washington DC Sales Manager Kate Berger attended the party with her mentee Amy. Kate has been Amy’s mentor since October. When talking about Amy, who is only 11 years old, Kate explains Amy has the responsibilities an adult would have, so when Kate gets to hang out with her, she tries to make it as fun as possible. During the winter they like to make cookies together, go ice skating, swimming, and plan to do a lot of outdoor activities when it’s warmer out.
This is Kates first time being a mentor, and she says she will definitely be a mentor again! To Kate, being Amy’s mentor doesn’t just mean they will see each other a few hours a week for the two years they will be together. Kate wants to make sure she keeps in touch with Amy to help her with other life situations or problems. “Whether it be helping with schoolwork and applying to college, or getting her driver’s license, when the time comes, I know I can help her and I plan on staying involved.” Amy has a dream of becoming an architect, so Kate wants to try to coach her in that direction. “We plan on spending time in libraries, or going to museums like the Smithsonian or monuments in DC, I hope that Amy realizes that she can be and do anything that she wants and is able to be confident enough achieve her dreams.” Kate also explained that she too is learning from Amy. “Amy’s teaching me Spanish and about her culture, and that’s something I find really cool!”
Other than spending time with Amy, Kate has also signed up to teach classes for Fairfax County. “I just go where I’m guided, I don’t plan to do this stuff, it just feels right and like an instinct.” Kate continued, “I grew up in foster care, so I know what it’s like and have experience which can definitely help with understanding the kids, and them relating.”
To learn more about becoming a mentor and to request an application, please contact Lindsey Henderson at 703-324-7072.
Check out some photos from the event!
More about Fairfax County Family Services
The Adopt-a-Family Program was developed to help children and families who are in need of clothing, food and toys for the holidays. It supports families who are working with Fairfax County Department of Family Services, Children Youth and Families Division. Last year surpassed all records in the 10-year history of Adopt-A-Family with 250 families and 636 children being sponsored. It started in 2006, with the help of the community, this program has expanded its mission to help many families in times of need, especially during the holidays.
If you are interested in supporting a family, here are ways you can get involved:
- Buy gifts for a family (toys, clothing, and food).
- Provide monetary donations.
- Prepare entrees and baked goods for activities and parties.
- Donate gift cards for food, clothing and gasoline.
- Donate tickets for movies, bowling or other activities.
To get involved email Krissa Slone or call 703-324-7751.
For more information on children’s youth programs through Fairfax County Family Services, please visit their website.
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George Mason University Fraternity performing their step dance!
The Sundance Vacations Washington, D.C. office, and office manager Kate B. were proud to support and take part in the Fairfax County Family Services, 2017 Befriend a Child holiday party! https://t.co/4A8svCoQ27 pic.twitter.com/MCqaql05vj
— Sundance Vacations (@travelsundance) February 19, 2018
Robert writes for Sundance Vacations’ Charities, Blog and News site as the Digital Media Coordinator.