About 90 single moms wearing colorful tutus will fill the Legacy Room, Saturday, December 17, as our Chase Oaks Legacy Campus hosts the annual Gifts for Moms Christmas Party. This year’s theme is “Shabby Chic Christmas,” and the attire is “tutu chic.”
Moms will be treated to valet parking, a special meal prepared by renowned Chef Cassondra Armstrong, a special gift, a swag bag, childcare and more.
Gifts for Moms is a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages single moms and partners with Chase Oaks each year to give them a special night to remember. The party is just one of the organization’s outreach efforts to provide relief for single moms who usually go unnoticed during the Christmas holiday.
Tamara Ragland, mom of three, has attended the party for the past three years and says it is one of the highlights of her year. “I love the fellowship. Everyone is in the same situation as a single mom. So they understand where you are coming from, and there is no judgment—just good food and fun. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your kids, so you can just relax.”
Jordan Weilbrenner is a mom of two children. She also looks forward to the party mostly for the camaraderie with other moms. Until recently, she was dealing with her 7-year old daughter’s cancer diagnosis. She shared that she has lost almost everyone in her family to cancer, so Christmas is always a struggle for her.
“The party is awesome,” she said. “You get to meet a bunch of cool people.” Her favorite part of the evening is the team games played at each table. “I loved the game where we had to transfer the t-shirt to the other people. The party is a lot of fun!”
Arionna Johns, 28, has four children. She recently moved to the area to help a friend who was struggling with a difficult pregnancy. Then the friend’s husband was deployed to an army base in another city, and she and her family were suddenly left with nowhere to go and forced to live in a shelter for the past three months. Thankfully, a few weeks ago, she finally got an apartment. She has secured a job as a property manager that is helping her make ends meet. But times are still tough. She was able to purchase beds for her children, but she herself is sleeping on the floor.
“I am sleeping on the floor, but at least it is a home. We are eating and sleeping on the floor. But I did purchase a folding chair at Walmart, so when I want to get off the floor, I sit in my chair.”
Arionna has never attended the party but has looked forward to it since her counselor at the shelter suggested that she fill out an application for the program. “She told me that I would really enjoy it,” she said. Arionna says she usually spends Christmas trying to make it special for her children, so having a time just for her will be a new experience.
Erica Woods, 38, a single mom of a 6-year-old, also looks forward to the party. She just completed a year at The Samaritan Inn shelter in McKinney, and recently moved into her own apartment. She heard about the party from a few other ladies in the shelter who had attended the party before and told her how much fun it was. She has been homeless for a year until last month when she finally graduated from the program and got her own apartment. Rent in Collin County is expensive, so she is trying to save for furniture as she and her daughter are sleeping and eating on the floor. Even after the long stint of misfortune, she is hopeful of things to come.