This time of year, it’s almost impossible to not be bombarded with a barrage of Christmas music. Just the other day I was in a store and heard "Baby, It's Cold Outside" three times, back to back, all different versions… It’s a bit much.
But we all love it - or want to love it - because this time of year is so special.
One song that elicits warm emotions, sad emotions, or even both at the same time is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. No matter which side of that fence you sit on, the song is inescapable.
For some people it brings back fond memories and builds childlike anticipation of the warmth that family brings and the security of “home” that we all too often take for granted. For others, the song is a reminder of loss. It brings back mental pictures of loved ones who have passed away, or it’s a reminder of the home that you’ve always wanted but never had.
With that in mind, this year I listen to that particular song with a sober joy.
“I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me…”
We now have a home where some very special young ladies can bundle up for Christmas. There is a place that they can count on to be their shelter, support, and safety.
Make no mistake, without the Rose Home, there’s no telling where our girls would be right now. But because of the Rose Home, this holiday season has been filled with cookie-baking, tree-decorating, cocoa-sipping joy for the special young ladies that now call it “home”.
We now have a home where some very special young ladies can bundle up for Christmas.
For some of the girls, they have a few supportive family members that they’re missing. For other girls, the Eye Heart World family is literally the only one that they have.
So our staff has gone to great lengths to make this season special and beautiful to reflect how special and beautiful each of these girls are. And we wanted to share some of that with you, the people who have made this home possible.
All month our staff has been doing a Countdown to Christmas, with a festive activity for every day of the month. It's been amazing to hear the stories. Some of the comments we have heard from the girls include, “it's been years since I even had a chance to realize that it was Christmas”, “I have not had a reason to celebrate Christmas”, and “I cannot wait till it snows, I want to build a snowman.”
“It's been years since I even had a chance to realize that it was Christmas...”
The girls spent one whole day decorating the home the way they wanted it. Another day, they went and picked out their tree, then took it home to trim it. Another day, they baked Christmas cookies together (yes, they were delicious). They went to the annual Merry and Bright ladies event at Life Church and heard a world-renowned speaker. The big request since October was to be able to go ice skating this winter. We made that happen this past week when staff took the women to the new ‘Titletown District’ and they were able to get on skates, for the first time for all of them. The smiles they had were priceless.
Just the other night, some of our Green Bay Outreach Team members surprised the girls and stopped by the home to carol for them. There was giggling and laughter.
"Yes! Our home is five bedrooms and four full baths… it’s huge!”
As the team members stepped inside after singing a few songs, one of the Rose Home coaches asked the girls if they'd like to give their guests a tour. One of the girls said "Yes! Our home is five bedrooms and four full baths… it’s huge!”
This truly is THEIR home and it’s because of your generosity and your investment into the new life upon which these young survivors have embarked. And with yet another young lady joining us just in time for Christmas, the family will expand, the gifts will be given, and the joy will abound.
So thank you. Thank you for believing in them. Thank you for giving of yourself and of your resources. Thank you for creating the opportunity for our girls to be able to say,
“I’ll be home for Christmas.”
Brian Russo - Executive Director