Wednesday, December 16, 2009

St. Elizabeth's young people help bring Christmas joy to homeless shelter on Skid Row

For the 13th consecutive year, students and alumni from St. Elizabeth School in Altadena recently helped spread Christmas joy to the homeless by decorating the Society's Cardinal Manning Center in Los Angeles' Skid Row.

During their two-hour stay at the Council's shelter, close to 10 children (plus three chaperons) - led by 'Vincentian' volunteer Aimee Brazeau - decorated three Christmas trees, the main lobby area and the family section on the first floor to help brighten the mood for the children, women and men at the center.

Serving as a chaperon for the fourth straight year, Brazeau helped bring some joy to a little boy at the shelter by allowing him to help decorate a wreath. This child also helped supervise where some ornaments should go on the Christmas tree in the family section.

"It's just a really neat experience. I get so frustrated going to the stores with the crowds and that's not what the holiday is about. It's about seeing the smiles at the (Cardinal Manning) center. It's very simple," she said.

Council Deputy Executive Director David Fields originally began this annual project when he was the president of the Society's St. Elizabeth Conference.

Photos (top to bottom): 'Vincentian' volunteer Aimee Brazeau from St. Elizabeth holds a young shelter resident as helps decorate a wreath; Some of the St. Elizabeth youth decorate a Christmas tree; Shelter Deputy Director Justin Mammen (left) gives the children a tour of the Society's Cardinal Manning Center.

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